Fellowship programs in endocrinology are designed for licensed physicians wishing to work in this field of internal medicine, which focuses on glandular diseases and conditions. These programs are typically offered through medical schools and may be completed in three years. Curriculum included is a combination of inpatient and outpatient residencies and academic study. Students will receive highly-specialized training related to the endocrine system and the treatment of metabolic diseases. Concentration options in sub-areas like nuclear medicine, pediatric endocrinology and gynecologic reproductive endocrinology are sometimes presented. Those interested in research are encouraged to pursue lab-based projects. Many of these programs require the completion of a practicum for graduation.
The admissions process can be extremely competitive. Applicants need to have completed medical school and earned their medical license. Candidates who specialized in endocrinology during their studies and finished at or near the top of their class are likely to receive favored consideration.
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Fellowship programs use conferences, lectures, and seminars, rather than classroom instruction, to cover new developments or the progress of ongoing research in the field. Fellows work with other specialists as they learn about treatments for various conditions including pituitary and growth disorders, diabetes, hypertension and lipoprotein and calcium metabolism disorders. Other possible seminar and conference topics are:
- Clinical endocrinology
- Molecular endocrinology concepts
- Thyroid imaging and analysis
- Endocrine tumors
- Endocrinology and genetics
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Physicians who complete an endocrinology fellowship are qualified to become endocrinologists or conduct research. Although they are trained physicians, endocrinologists are classified as medical scientists by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For the years 2014-2024, employment of medical scientists and physicians/surgeons was predicted to grow at a rate of 8% and 14% respectively, with mean annual wages of $93,730 and $197,700 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Physicians wishing to practice endocrinology can obtain certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), which entails holding prior ABIM certification in internal medicine, completing endocrinology fellowship training and passing an exam.
Licensed physicians wanting to work in the field of internal medicine should enroll in a fellowship program in endocrinology. In these programs they will learn about the assessment and treatment of glandular diseases and conditions through inpatient and outpatient residencies, conferences, lectures and seminars.