A typical day in endocrinology depends on your chosen specialty. Endocrinologists receive specific training in the identification and treatment of hormone deficiencies. You may work in pediatrics, reproductive health or as a surgeon. Hormone health is also vital to female health, and you may have a practice specifically geared toward women. With all of these specialties, a day in the life of one endocrinologist may look completely different from a day in the life of another.
Road to Endocrinology
Endocrinologists are licensed physicians who have earned an undergraduate and medical degree. They also complete three to four years of residency, learning the specific practice of diagnosing and treating hormone issues. Due to the wide range of problems caused by hormonal deficiencies, endocrinologists train across various disciplines, including oncology and radiology. They earn an average salary of $221,400 a year, according to the American Medical Group Association. A compensation report by Medscape shows that women endocrinologists earn an average of 6 percent less than their male counterparts, but that percentage has decreased each year.
Private Practice Duties
If you choose to operate a private practice, your days will generally be predictable. You can set your own office schedule, though doctors' offices are generally open during normal business hours. You must supervise your staff, ensuring that they collect necessary insurance and payment information. But the majority of your day will consist of patient interactions. The American Diabetes Association provides the four general tasks of an endocrinology appointment. First, you ask questions and do a medical history assessment. You then physically examine your patient and collect blood samples for diagnosis of hormonal deficiencies. Then you provide a plan of continuous treatment. As a private practitioner, you perform all or some of these steps for each patient you see in a typical day.
Who's the Patient
The daily duties of an endocrinologist can vary, depending on the doctor's specialty. Reproductive endocrinologists see patients having trouble conceiving. In addition to general examination duties, you may also perform an ultrasound or pelvic examination on your patient to assist with diagnosing hormone condition. Pediatric endocrinologists deal with growth concerns in children, according to Dr. Ananya Mandal's article "What is an Endocrinologist?" In this specialty, you'll need to incorporate child-friendly techniques into your daily routine and take an extra dose of patience each morning.
Some endocrinologists undertake additional training to become thyroid surgeons. In this specialty, you'll spend your typical day inside a hospital examining patients and preparing them for surgery. You'll also direct nurses and resident doctors throughout the day. Performing surgery will be your major duty. After conducting operations, you monitor your patients and complete postoperative procedures. Operations can take hours to complete, so surgeons generally work nontraditional hours. You also have to be available for on-call emergencies.
- News Medical: Endocrinologist - What is an Endocrinologist?
- O*Net Online: Surgeons Details
- Healthline: Your Visit to the Endocrinologist
- Baby Corner: What to Expect from your Reproductive Endocrinologist
- Medscape Multispecialty: "Endocrinologist Compensation Report 2013". Neal Chesanow
Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.