Introduction to Endocrinology & Endocrine Surgery

Written by James Norman MD, FACS, FACE

Simply put, endocrinology is the study of endocrine glands. Endocrine glands are a group of glands in the body which secrete hormones. The purpose of the secreted hormones is to evoke a specific response in other cells of the body which are located far away. As shown in the picture, the hormones are secreted into the blood stream, giving them access to all other cells of the body.

Endocrine surgery is the division of surgery which specializes in the surgical treatment of endocrine diseases. Endocrinologists and endocrine surgeons typically work closely together to provide the most advantageous care to patients afflicted with endocrine disorders. To be recognized as an endocrine surgeon (and a member of the American Association for Endocrine Surgeons), you have to devote a major portion of your surgical practice to endocrine disorders and have performed at least 100 endocrine operations. There aren't too many surgeons who specialize in endocrine surgery!

Examples of Endocrine Glands and Their Hormones