Endocrinologists at HMC
What is Endocrinology?
The definition of endocrinology, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “a branch of medicine concerned with the structure, function, and disorders of the endocrine glands.” Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. The endocrine system is responsible for controlling the rate of growth, respiration, reproduction, sensory perception, and many more important tasks.
What an Endocrinologist Does
Endocrinologists are trained to diagnose and treat hormone imbalances and other problems in the endocrine system, restoring a normal balance of hormones in your body. The endocrine system includes the pituitary and pineal gland in the brain, the thyroid gland in the neck, the thymus gland in the chest, adrenal gland, pancreas, and the ovaries and testes. An endocrinologist handles issues such as diabetes, thyroid disease, over or underproduction of hormones, menopause, hypertension, and cancers of the endocrine glands.
Because endocrinology is a sub-specialty of internal medicine, many endocrinologists are also practicing internists.
Once completing an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) or D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) at a medical school, physicians must complete 3 years of residency where they will study under an experienced doctor. This is followed by a two-year fellowship to receive training in the specialized field of endocrinology. Once the residency and fellowship are both complete, a physician must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination. If the physician wishes to become certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, they will first need to become certified in Internal Medicine – a 36-month residency period, competency evaluation, and written exam. Once this is complete, an additional 36-month residency, evaluation, and exam is required to become certified in endocrinology.