Endocrine surgery focuses predominantly on diseases of the adrenal glands, thyroid and parathyroid.
Endocrine surgery merges technical expertise with a working knowledge or physiologic changes associated with hormone deficiency and excess. It is multidisciplinary in nature.
An Uncommon Specialty
Endocrine surgery is an uncommon specialty. There are approximately 200 active practitioners in the U.S. and only about 100 abroad.
Because there is a lack of endocrine surgery expertise, most endocrine operations are performed by medical professionals with no special interest in the field even though endocrine operations performed by specialists achieve superior outcomes.
Approximately 80% of all endocrine operations in the U.S. are performed by surgeons whose practice is made up of less than 25% endocrine procedures.
The Future of Endocrine Surgery
While many active endocrine surgeons began as general surgeons and developed a special interest, the most recent generation of endocrine surgeons is predominantly comprised of individuals who have gone through formal subspecialty fellowship training in endocrine surgery.
Previously, many of the established training programs were in Europe and the British Commonwealth. However, the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons developed a formalized curriculum and subspecialty fellowship match process in 2007.
Moving forward, we hope that more people will choose this specialty and patients will have easier access to endocrine surgery specialists.