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How to Become an Endocrinologist

Written by

George D. Baker

Date

August 14, 2014

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Endocrinology is a medical discipline that deals with conditions of the endocrine system, which includes the thyroid, pituitary, adrenals, testes, ovaries, and pancreas. All of the organs in the endocrine system produce hormones. Endocrinologists are medical doctors that specialize in endocrinology. They diagnose and treat patients with many different conditions affecting the endocrine system.

What does an endocrinologist do?

Endocrinologists diagnose, treat, and manage a variety of conditions and disease of the endocrine systems such as hyperthyroidism, metabolic syndrome, hormone imbalances, diabetes, and cancers of the endocrine glands. They evaluate patients symptoms and develop effective treatment plans. They often perform many different diagnostic tests to assist in diagnosis and the evaluation of treatment. They also counsel patients on lifestyle changes that can improve conditions such as diet modification, exercise, and hygiene. Many endocrinologists are also involved in clinical research to gain a better understanding of the endocrine system and to assist in the development of better treatment options.

What kind of training does an endocrinologist need?

Endocrinologists must complete undergraduate education, medical school, and residencies and internships. They must pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to be admitted into medical school. Medical school combines intensive instruction and clinical rotations in all major medical disciplines. After medical school, prospective endocrinologists complete residencies in internal medicine with specialization in endocrinology. They learn how to diagnose and treat a variety of hormone conditions. Many endocrinologists complete fellowships to sub-specialize in specific areas such as pediatric, adult, and reproductive endocrinology. Endocrinologists must be licensed to practice. Licensing requirements include graduating from an accredited medical school, completing graduate medical training, and passing an examination. Endocrinologists must also become board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

What are the prospects for a career as an endocrinologist?

Employment of all doctors and surgeons is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 14% through 2016. The aging population and increased incidence of obesity and diabetes will drive job growth of endocrinologists.

For anyone considering whether and how to become an endocrinologist, the job prospects are expected to be very good especially for endocrinologists with specialties and extensive experience. Many job openings will result from the need to replace endocrinologists that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do endocrinologists make?

As of this year, the middle 50% of endocrinologists earn annual salaries between $165,452 and $213,327. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $237,599.

A career as an endocrinologist is an excellent choice for individuals interested in providing care to patients with conditions of the endocrine system. Endocrinologists must have a strong desire to serve patients and have good bedside manner. Self-motivation, emotional stability, compassion, and determination are essential characteristics. Endocrinologists must have excellent communication skills and be able to interact with a variety of patients and other medical personnel. They must be able to work long hours under stress and pressure and make quick decisions in emergency situations.

Becoming an Endocrinologist Requires Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming an Endocrinologist? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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    • Hi Marlene,

      Good question. The cost varies depending on where you choose to study and how you plan to finance your studies. Try and narrow down the potential colleges you want to attend. Our degree search tool is a great place to start (https://collegemouse.com/get-your-degree/). Most schools will be happy to provide you with information on expected tuition and other costs. In general, medical degrees cost more. For example, one report by the Association of American Medical Colleges states that the median tuition in 2012-2013 was $28,719 for resident students at public institutions, $49,000 for nonresident students at public institutions, and $47,673 for students at private institutions. Depending on how you finance your degree, it’s not unusual to have debts in excess of $150,000 at graduation. In 2012, the median debt at graduation for medical graduates was $160,000 at public institutions and $190,000 at private institutions. Keep in mind there are also many other costs besides the fees (see link – https://collegemouse.com/school/how-to-pay-for-college/hidden-college-costs.html).

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      College Mouse Team