Endocrinology Schools and Degrees

Endocrinology is a field that focuses on the hormone-producing glands of the human body. Learn about training requirements, how to pick a school that will fit your needs and what you'll be able to do with your degree. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Endocrinologists are doctors who specialize in treating hormone-producing glands such as the pancreas, thyroid, reproductive glands and gonads. They frequently treat patients with diabetes, hypoglycemia and other endocrine imbalances.

Schools Consider schools with access to a major hospital or diverse population, depending on your career goals
Training M.D. degree, residency program, fellowship
Median Salary (2014) $79,930 (for medical scientists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Will I Train to Become an Endocrinologist?

To become an endocrinologist, you must complete eight years of college and medical school followed by a specialized residency from two to six years. You may focus on internal medicine or pediatrics during your residency.

As an undergraduate, you can major in pre-med or another field, as long as you fulfill the pre-med course requirements before applying to medical school. These courses include organic chemistry, biology, calculus and physics.

Medical school entrance is extremely competitive, and you will need a high score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) in addition to showing excellent academic aptitude as an undergraduate and then again in medical school.

After finishing medical school and becoming a medical doctor (M.D.), you'll enter a residency program to gain hands-on experience with patients while under the supervision of physicians. Endocrinology can fall under the umbrella of internal medicine, but reproductive endocrinology or pediatric endocrinology are two other possible sub-specialties. Residencies and fellowships will vary depending on your specific goal. If you want to become a pediatric endocrinologist, for example, you'll complete medical school, a three-year pediatric residency and a three-year pediatric endocrinologist fellowship. To become board certified, you must finish your residency and then pass the American Board of Internal Medicine exam.

How Should I Select a School?

Medicine is an academically rigorous field, and in choosing both a pre-med program and a medical school, you will want to make sure the school is a place where you feel comfortable and free to excel. Consider class size, laboratory facilities and internship options. If possible, visit the school and assess the atmosphere among students. Are classmates competitive? Do professors support student growth, or do you sense a tension between the goals of the teachers and students? In order to do your best in challenging courses, you need your environment to work for you.

You may want to select a medical school in an area with access to a major hospital or a large metropolitan population, so that you can experience diverse medical situations during your training years. This depends somewhat on your ultimate career goals, however; if you plan to work in a rural setting, you may prefer to train in one. Speak to practitioners working in the area where you would like to live, and ask what kind of training environment they feel would be most beneficial for someone hoping to end up with a similar job.

Residencies are matched with medical school graduates following the application and interview process that takes place in the fourth year of medical school. Once you are in a residency, the paths and options for fellowships geared toward endocrinology will unfold.

What Are My Career Prospects?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all health-related industries are expected to grow about as fast as average in the 2012-2022 decade. Furthermore, a report published by the Endocrine Society in 2014 stated that demand for adult endocrinologists far outpaced supply - and is expected to continue doing so until 2025 (www.endo-society.org). The Endocrine Society and the American Diabetes Association may also provide career support.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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