Endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism address medical cases affecting the endocrine glands and metabolic functions. Often, patients who see endocrinologists suffer from hormonal disorders, which can affect their metabolism, fertility, and for younger individuals, their growth and development. Medical issues relating to this field include diabetes, hypothyroidism, infertility, obesity, and osteoporosis, among others.
Those who subspecialize in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism are referred to as endocrinologists. Because they have a degree in internal medicine, they are considered internists as well. To be successful, endocrinologists must have an in-depth knowledge base of biology, genetics, and chemistry. Many endocrinologists feel the problem solving is the most exciting and most significant part of their job.
Do you enjoy solving puzzles? Do you excel in science? If so, the medical subspecialty of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism could be a good fit for you! For details on the process of obtaining a sub-specialization and practicing in this area, continue reading below.
Upon completion of a pre-medical and medical education, those looking to become endocrinologists will have to apply and get into an internal medicine residency program. This three-year residency provides a foundation of medical knowledge to carry future endocrinologists into their subspecialty training. During the 2018 and 2019 residential year, there were 28,420 internal medicine residents. Of this population, about 40%, or 11,051 individuals identified as international medical graduates.
Once their residency is complete, those looking to sub-specialize in endocrinology will need to complete an endocrinology fellowship. Most fellowships last two years, but programs can be longer. At most, endocrinology fellowships are three years long. Formally such fellowships are known as endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism fellowships as they touch on the material in each of these areas.
Practicing as a Physician
During 2018, the average annual salary for an endocrinologist within the U.S. was $212,000. This income is comparable to that earned by pediatric and family medicine physicians. This income, which is lower than many other medical specialties and subspecialties, can be a deterrent for those considering acquiring a sub-specialization in this area of medicine. Almost half of practicing endocrinologists feel they are not paid enough.
Interestingly enough, IMGs who are endocrinologists have a pattern of earning more than their U.S.-educated counterparts. The average annual salary for endocrinologists who studied outside the U.S. in 2018 was $216,000.
Income aside, endocrinologists report feeling happy with their profession, acknowledging that they can help patients whose health concerns impact their self-esteem and ability to carry out daily life.
Looking to learn more about this medical specialty? A clinical experience in endocrinology could be the perfect opportunity.