No, imho it is underplayed. Doctors should educate newly diagnosed patients about diabetes, tell patients how bad diabetes can be, and things they can do to avoid the complications that can develop. Yes, it can take years to do damage, but sometimes some of that damage cannot be undone, i.e. kidney damage, eyesight issue, amputation of body parts, heart disease, etc. Those are years one could be taking a proactive approach and make the changes necessary to prevent those things from happening. Those are the same years that one could choose to ignore it because they don't feel sick, aren't having symptoms, or they think are just normal with aging, and then BAM. It is our choice how we opt to deal with it.
The doctors make more off of diabetic patients that opt to wait to see if something bad is going to happen before making changes than those who opt to be proactive early on.