Endocrinologist Career Information
What an Endocrinologist does
Hormones regulate the growth of the human body. These when released by the various glands in the body result in the normal, healthy growth of human beings. On the other hand deficiency or excess of hormones can lead to aberrations in the growth pattern. As an endocrinologist you will treat patients with this form of abnormality.
For example a child may exhibit symptoms of stunted growth. In this case you, as an endocrinologist, will have to first diagnose if this is the result of natural causes such as the genetic make up of the child or is it the result of a hormonal imbalance. Next you must investigate the causes for this imbalance. The reasons could be anything from a lack of hormone development to a dysfunctional gland. As an endocrinologist you will then decide how to go about it. The treatment could vary from just prescribing tablets and injections to complicated surgery.
However you must realise that an endocrinologist in effect is performing a function that the body was supposed to perform. So as an endocrinologist you have to be very careful about the kind of treatment you adopt. You will need to constantly follow up with your patients and ensure that there are no side effects. Too less of hormones will not be able to get the desired effect. Too much and you might end up with a 15 feet 15 year old!
The field of endocrinology is not restricted to treating tall and short people. As an endocrinologist you will also treat hormone related diseases such as thyroid disorders, diabetes and osteoporosis.
You can gain employment with multi specialty hospitals - owned by the government or in corporate hands. You could even start off your own specialised clinic as well as be a visiting consultant to various other polyclinics.
Teaching always remains an option in Medical Colleges.
Pharmaceutical companies will also offer you positions in their research and development set-ups as well as their sales support functions.
Teaching medical transcription and writing for medical journals are also some part time activities that you can pursue.
In India there are 32.7 million people in the age group who suffer from diabetes. That is just one segment of patients that you will be treating. This just goes on to show the need for endocrinologists in the country.
But so far the high costs of medical care has meant that the majority of parents have not been able to afford the kind of super specialty treatment that is required. However all that is set to change.
The government has opened up the health insurance sector. So, as more and more people will be able to bear the cost of specialised Medicare, the more will be the demand for better healthcare facilities, state of the art equipment, treatment and specialist doctors.
Without doubt the healthcare industry in India is on the up folks! That is good news for specialists like endocrinologists.
Abilities & Traits Required
• Good analytical, logical and reasoning skills
• Ability to memorise and recall scientific facts
• A keen desire to serve and help people
• A patient and understanding nature
• The ability to generate confidence in others
To begin with you will have to clear your 10+2 exam with physics, chemistry and biology. Not only will you have to score really well in this exam, you will also have to appear for the highly competitive entrance exam. Once you secure your admission, you will enter the five and a half year MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery), course.
This includes the one-year internship period as well. After this you will need to complete your Post-graduate studies by going in for a 3 years MD course. At the end of this course, you will get to do your super specialisation in endocrinology, which is another three years. Only then can you call yourself an endocrinologist!
As an endocrinologist, you will learn about Pituitary disorders, Thyroid disorders, Disorders of mineral metabolism, hormonal disorders causing infertility, impotence, abnormal growth and diseases such as diabetes, thyroid cancer and osteoporosis.
After completing MD, you can start earning around Rs 20000 a month as a Medical Officer/Senior House Staff/ Senior resident in a hospital.
You could also work in medical colleges as clinical tutor, which will pay you around Rs 35000 to Rs. 45000/- a month. But once you complete your super specialization and become an endocrinologist your pay will shoot up to the Rs 55000-65000 range.
After that it is your reputation and your experience that matters. You could work for pharmaceutical companies as well as government and private research and development labs. Your salary here would be in the range of Rs 40000-50000 .You could even go on to make as much as lakh a month.
Along with the money is the fame. You will be renowned the world over for your expertise in your field. Starting off your own private clinic also brings in lots of money.