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Studies & Degrees in Endocrinology

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Endocrinology is a subdivision of medicine that deals with illnesses concerning the Endocrine System and its particular secretions known as hormones. The beginnings of Endocrinology can be traced back to the country of China. By 200 B.C., the Chinese were already segregating sex and pituitary secretions found in a person’s urine for the purpose of medicine. Sublimation was a complex method that was used for such procedure. This happened 1500 years before Europeans, through a man name Berthold who discovered that the castration of cockerels did not result in wattles or combs nor did it display explicitly male deeds. It was in 1935 that pure, crystalline male sex hormone known as testosterone was isolated.

Relevant tissues and other endocrine glands have long been recognized and discovered by the anatomists of early years, but the classical thinkers such as Hippocrates and Aristotle were responsible for the more humoral move toward understanding its functions biologically as well as the corresponding diseases. It was until the introduction of the germ theory, physiology and pathology during the 19thcentury that these theories held influence.

In the United States, there are approximately 4,000 Endocrinologists who are specializing in internal medicine and pediatrics.

Endocrinologists who deal primarily with the fertility and menstrual problem are called Reproductive Endocrinologists. But before Endocrinologists can formally practice their specialty, they go through a training first in obstetrics (in the case of REI) depending on the training system the State they are under has.

Residency is the term designated for the training to achieve a board certification in the fields of internal medicine, pediatrics and gynecology in the United States or Canada right after medical school. For sub-specializations, a formal training is also required to be able to practice adult, pediatric or reproductive endocrinology termed as a fellowship. In North America, Endocrinologists are required four (4) years of college, another four (4) years for medical school, residency of three (3) years and lastly, three (3) years for fellowship. The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) board certifies Adult Endocrinology.

There are a variety of principal professional organizations recognized in North America which includes The Endocrine Society, the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and many others. The main professional organizations in the United Kingdom are the Society for Endocrinology and the British Society for Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes. The largest international professional organization that is directly-related to Pediatric Endocrinology is the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology.

Job positions for Endocrinology:

Reproductive Endocrinologist

The next step forward for treatments in infertility can be readily answered by physicians who specialize in the field of Reproductive Endocrinology. Increased chances of conceiving have been discovered by many couples after choosing to put the infertility problem in the hands of a Reproductive Endocrinologist. This type of practice undergoes a special training that allows them to provide the best treatments and undivided attention to the needs and issues of clients or patients individually.

The subspecialty of surgical obstetrics and gynecology is called Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility or REI. The physicians are educated in the area of reproductive medicine handling hormonal functioning that is directly related to the processes of reproduction with great emphasis on the subject of infertility. Aside from the Reproductive Endocrinologist’s main focus on infertility, REIs are also trained to assess and deal with other dysfunctions of the hormones in women and men outside the scope of infertility. Anatomical conditions that affect a patient’s fertility are also surgically operated by REIs. They first undergo specialty training in obstetrics and gynecology before proceeding to the sub-specialty partnership training of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Among the many scope of a Reproductive Endocrinologist are problems that are directly in relation to the reproductive system include but not limited to the following:

Hormonal Disorders – it has been found out over the years that a great number of complex hormonal disorders are impacting women of childbearing years more substantially than previously believed;

Menstrual Problems – menstrual problems are mostly mediated by culture and particular lifestyle factors. Another factor in the occurrence of menstrual problems is stress and diet;

Infertility – the inability of a person to biologically contribute to the process of conception due to problems in ovulation, blocking of the fallopian tubes, male-associated infertility, factors in relation to age, problems in the uterus, tubal ligation, vasectomy, and an unknown cause;

Loss of Pregnancy – This is brought about by a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. There are four possible causes of pregnancy loss and they are: a blighted ovum, miscarriage, ectopic and molar pregnancy;

Sexual Dysfunction – This is the term coined for the difficulty encountered by a couple in the process of sexual intercourse in its various stages: desire, arousal, and orgasm; and
Menopause – this is the permanent termination of the reproductive fertility of a woman.

Who can a Reproductive Endocrinologist treat? REIs can treat clients, men and women in different stages of life. It is the duty of the Reproductive Endocrinologist to run a variety of tests that concern fertility in the cases of clients or patients presenting an infertility problem. They can also suggest necessary and appropriate treatments that will help increase a patient’s chances of conceiving. The most common treatments that are offered are the use of fertility drugs, infertility surgery and assisted therapy for reproduction.

What are the qualifications in becoming a Reproductive Endocrinologist? Reproductive Endocrinologists need to complete a residency in OB-GYNE first plus allotting two to three years of training in reproductive endocrinology afterwards. To become a certified and qualified reproductive endocrinologist, they take a written and oral exam.

Pediatric Endocrinologist

What is Pediatric Endocrinology? Pediatric Endocrinology is a subspecialty of medicine that carries out care for the differences in physical growth and sexual advancement of childhood, as well as dealing with endocrine diseases such as diabetes and many others.

What does a Pediatric Endocrinologist do? Why does my child need a pediatric endocrinologist? A Pediatric Endocrinologist takes care of patients from birth to late adolescence. Children who have problem in growth and development, youth, Diabetes Mellitus, as well as other endocrine-related diseases that occurs during the early stages of life. It is the responsibility of a Pediatric Endocrinologist to treat a child with these kinds of health problems.

Chemicals that affect the proper functions of the other parts of the human body are called hormones. It is the hormone that decides how a certain child will grow and mature and at what particular stage and time. Hormones in the bloodstream are discharged by the pituitary gland. It is the study of Endocrinology that focuses on the glands and the hormones’ effects. A Pediatric Endocrinologist’s job varies from that of a general Endocrinologist in a way that the hormonal disorders being dealt with by a Pediatric Endocrinologists are those that occur during the childhood stages and puberty whereas from the endocrinologists who specialize in the care of adults.

In typically 50% of all clinical practice, the disease that is the most common under this specialty is Type 1 Diabetes. The growth disorders are second on the list especially the ones that are cured by the Growth Hormone Treatment. Pediatric Intersex Disorders are medically-cared for the Pediatric Endocrinologists, as well as hypo- and hyperglycemia, and problems in the adrenal, thyroid and pituitary organs. Pediatric Endocrinologists too have expertise in the metabolism of bone, lipids, congenital errors and pubescent gynecology.

A board certification follows the fellowship training in the countries of the United State and Canada for the medicine subspecialty known as Pediatric Endocrinology. This certification is issued by the Board of Pediatrics. This subspecialty has relatively limited procedures and importance on the evaluation of diagnostics.

Pediatric Endocrinology can be traced back to the pioneer of the pediatrics specialty, Lawson Wilkins, who practiced at the Pediatrics Department of John Hopkin’s Medical School and Harriet Lane Home, Baltimore. This occurred during the period of the late 1940’s and the middle of the 1960’s. In honor of the pioneer Wilkins, the North American Professional Association is named after the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society.

The training for Pediatric Endocrinology takes two to three years of fellowship and a finishing point of a three-year period of residency in pediatrics. Both the fellowship and the specialty are research- and academically-based. Pediatric Endocrinologists are found in diverse settings which include the children’s hospital, private offices, Medical Centers, Provincial and Large Community hospitals all over the country.

Pediatric Endocrinologists understand the totality of a child because children are more than just little adults. Children, in relation to their growth and development, have special needs that not just any other doctor can correctly diagnose and cure.