We have learned much in the past 10 years about how to help patients to acquire diabetes-related knowledge and skills and how to use strategies to help patients change behaviors. However, the application ofknowledge and techniques should be guided by a relevant, coherent, educational philosophy. Empowerment offers a practical conceptual framework for diabetes patient education. Empowering patients provides them with the knowledge, skills, and responsibility to effect change and has the potential to promote overall health and maximize the use of available resources. It is an idea whose time has come for diabetes education.