What is Endocrinology?

Endocrinology Overview DiagramEndocrinology is a specialty in medicine dealing with hormone-secreting glands. The endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones are molecular signals sent to other cells that have receptors which can receive their signal. Hormones regulate a variety of critical metabolic functions.

An endocrinologist is a highly trained physician. After receiving an MD degree, the physician must complete 3+ more years in an internal medicine training program and must pass stringent exams to become nationally board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Following this, the physician must complete 2+ more years in an endocrinology training program and must pass additional stringent exams to become nationally board-certified in endocrinology & metabolism.

Thus, an endocrinologist has special expertise in the evaluation and treatment of diseases caused by an excess or deficiency of hormones normally secreted by the pituitary, adrenals, thyroid, parathyroids, ovaries, testicles, or pancreatic islet cells (eg, diabetes, hypoglycemia). The endocrinologist also treats cancers arising out of these glands. Additionally, the endocrinologist treats diseases of calcium metabolism (eg, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, kidney stones), and lipid metabolism (eg, hypercholesterolemia).

Dr. Fitzgerald does consultations in endocrinology and internal medicine for many physicians. He is also a general internist for patients who do not have a personal physician. A comprehensive individualized Health Program has been established for his patients.

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