Patient Education: Curriculum Topics in Diabetes

Adena Goldstein, RN, BSN, CDCES, Nancyellen Brennan, F.N.P., C.D.E., Rita Rastogi Kalyani, M.D., M.H.S.


  • Coordinated set of information and educational experiences which include learning outcomes and effective teaching strategies
  • DSME (Diabetes Self Management Education) is a structured and continuous process of learning the knowledge and skills necessary for successful management of diabetes.
  • DSMT (Diabetes Self Management Training) is diabetes education provided by sites (clinics, pharmacies, hospital based diabetes centers) whose education program has been approved either by the American Diabetes Association or the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Group and individual education provided by these approved centers is reimbursed by Medicare
  • In the U.S., a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES), formerly known as a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), is a health care professional who has special training in diabetes education, completed 1,000 hours of patient education in diabetes, and passed a standardized examination. There are many professions that can qualify to become a CDCES including the most common: registered nurses, registered dietitians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, podiatrists, and licensed psychologists.
  • A CDCES emphasizes practical, problem-solving skills, collaborative care, and strategies that sustain self management and support a person with diabetes throughout the lifespan.

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Last updated: October 9, 2022