How to Become an Endocrinologist

November 22

Table of Contents

The field of endocrinology is an exciting one filled with mystery and paradox.

So, what exactly is an endocrinologist?

Besides being a doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating diseases related to the endocrine system, the scope of their work also includes the field of internal medicine. Along with these fields, other areas that these doctors might specialize in include infertility and pregnancy.

There are many things to consider before you decide to study medicine. There is a need to be aware of the costs and time frame involved, which is not always easy. 

This article will guide readers toward a better understanding of what an endocrinologist is and provide them with tips for how someone can become one.

After going through this article, you will know the necessary procedure for becoming an endocrinologist and many other specifics.

What Is an Endocrinologist? 

According to the American Society of Endocrinology, an endocrinologist is a physician specializing in diseases of the endocrine system. 

They are certified medical specialties in hormone treatment. They diagnose, treat, and prevent hormone-related disorders.

Endocrinology is the brand of medicine and physiology that deals with hormones and endocrine glands. However, endocrinologists can diagnose the conditions of the endocrine glands, develop a treatment for them, make management plans and prescribe medicines for the issues. 

The endocrinologist can deal with the following diseases:

  • Diabetes
  • Thyroids
  • Infertility
  • Metabolic problems
  • Growth problems,
  • Anomalies in the hormone-producing pituitary and adrenal glands.

What Does an Endocrinologist Do?

An endocrinologist is a medical specialist who treats endocrine disorders such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and thyroid disorders, among others. 

Different kinds of specialists fall under the category of endocrinologists. Some specialize in treating menopause and reproductive issues, while others work exclusively with infants and children. And others treat adrenal gland problems and cancer patients suffering from immune system disorders or tissue transplants.

What Are the Requirements to Become an Endocrinologist? 

The road to becoming an endocrinologist starts soon after graduating a high school. 

However, it primarily needs 12 to 15 years of education and training. Moreover, to become an endocrinologist, one should also require some certifications, licenses, and training. 

The Basic Educational Requirements To Become An Endocrinologist Are:

Other Requirements Include

  • Complete one year of training in hospitals and clinics to gain experience in real-world problems.
  • A fellowship for more specialized training in endocrinology mainly focuses on diseases such as diabetes, oncology, neurosurgery, and pediatric endocrinology.
  • To become an endocrinologist legally, you must be board-certified. You must have a certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE).
  • You must also be able to use medical instruments, software, and technology.
  • A strong command of your communication skills, especially when asking questions and interacting with patients.
  • You must have exceptional problem-solving skills. You must be able to diagnose the problem in the best way possible.
  • You must also have a strong decision-making capability.
  • You must recognize patterns in concepts, theories, and mathematical configurations.
  • You must have excellent deductive and inductive reasoning abilities.

How Much Does It Cost to Become an Endocrinologist? 

The total cost to become an endocrinologist can vary depending on the school and circumstances. 

However, for the academic year 2021-2022, the average tuition and fees for the Endocrinology program at schools are $12,473 for in-state students and $41,294 for out-of-state students.

After that, the students should complete their graduate programs in Endocrinology, which will cost them an average of $13,168 for in-state students and $27,382 for non-state residents for the academic year 2021-2022.

How to Become an Endocrinologist? 

Becoming an endocrinologist requires a considerable amount of time. We have divided the process into simple steps and mentioned them below. Let's have a look at the process of becoming an endocrinologist.

  • Step 1: The first step is to complete your Bachelor's degree in biology or chemistry. 
  • Step 2: The completion of the 4-year program at Medical College.
  • Step 3: The next step is undertaking a residency in the specified field. 
  • Step 4: After completing the residency, the individual should become board certified in their specific field, i.e., endocrinology, by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM)
  • Step 5: After ABIM board certification, the students can apply for a fellowship in their field. 
  • Step 6: Pass the exam of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism by ABIM to get the final certification. 

It is the six-step procedure of how to become an endocrinologist. Let's discuss each of them in detail.

Step 1: Completion of Bachelor's Degree with Science-Based Course

To become an endocrinologist, you must complete your college degree with science-based subjects. These subjects usually contain biology and chemistry. Biology will inform you about the human body, while chemistry will teach you chemical reactions. 

By combining both of these, you can understand endocrinology significantly, as it studies chemical reactions or hormonal changes in the human body.

Step 2: Completing the 4-year program at Medical College.

Following high school, obtaining a bachelor's degree is the next step toward becoming an endocrinologist.

If you want to work with patients, you should know that medical school is required. As a result, pursuing a degree with a pre-medical focus or concentration is a wise decision.

You are not required to attend medical school simply because you have chosen a pre-med major. Even if you are unsure whether you want to pursue endocrinology, you can select a pre-medical engagement.

The classes you take will be determined by the degree you choose. However, in general, you can expect to learn things like the following:

  • Biological concepts, principles, and operations, such as cell parts and life cycles
  • Chemistry fundamentals like chemical bonds and chemical structures
  •  Using medical jargon to improve business communications Biochemical concepts include chemical reactivity, thermodynamics, kinetics, and membrane structure.
  • Psychopharmacology studies how medications affect a person's behavior and thoughts.

Step 3: Undertaking of Residency in Internal Medicine

A medical residency is the period of training that follows the completion of your medical school studies. 

MD residency is completed in a working hospital or clinic and provides extensive, hands-on training in a specific field of medicine.

The first year of residency, known as an internship, is spent rotating through various specialties or other areas within one specialty. This rotation allows MDs to identify the specialization field for the rest of their residency and into a career.

The length of your medical residency is determined by the specialty you choose. A family practice residency, for example, would last two years, whereas a surgery residency could last five or more years.

Step 4: Become Board Certified in Internal Medicine. 

After completing the residency, you can now go for board certification. Many doctors choose board certification as an extra step to demonstrate that they are up to date on the latest advancements in their specialty. 

Doctors who have earned their board certification desire to work at the very top of their field and give their patients the best care possible. Doctors committed to maintaining their board certification:

  • Please participate in evaluation and training that goes above and beyond their colleagues' requirements.
  • They always strive to improve the care they offer.

Step 5: Fellowship in Endocrinology

In the United States and Canada, following the completion of a specialist training program (residency), a doctor, dentist, or veterinarian may seek a fellowship.

During this time, the doctor is referred to as a fellow. Fellows might work as attending or consulting doctors in medicine where they received their training.

After completing a fellowship in a specified field, such as endocrinology, the physician can practice independently of other physicians in their sub-specialty.

Step 6: Pass Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Exam by ABIM. 

After completing a fellowship in Endocrinology, the doctor should pass an exam on Endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism conducted by ABIM. This step will add more worth to your career. 

The certified endocrinologist is expected to have strong knowledge, reasoning power, and a vital diagnosis of the diseases. 

The primary purpose of this exam is to examine all of these qualities of a certified endocrinologist. This test will evaluate the ability to make appropriate diagnostic and management decisions with significant implications for patients. 

The exam may necessitate recognizing common and uncommon clinical problems, for which patients should consult a certified endocrinologist.

6 Important Qualities Needed to Be an Endocrinologist

A person who chooses a career as an endocrinologist can get fruitful and satisfying results. 

However, it is critical to determine whether this is the accurate field of medicine for you. It is a career that requires a vast amount of knowledge on a wide range of diseases.

To be a successful endocrinologist, you'll need this skill set.

a. Strong Oral and Written Communicating Skills

Any doctor, whether an endocrinologist or neurologist, must interact with patients regularly. 

One of the primary responsibilities of doctors is to educate and counsel their patients. Regarding this duty, the communication skills of doctors should be powerful. They should be able to communicate information to their patients in a clear and understandable form.  

Also, they should be able to make their patients comfortable and relaxed so that they can focus on their health and treatment effectively. 

Moreover, besides oral communication, the endocrinologist should also have strong communication skills while writing. 

Most endocrinologists work as a multidisciplinary team, in which written communication also plays an important role. 

b. Excellent Problem-Solving Skills and Concentration on Small Details

The primary duty of an endocrinologist is to detect the imbalances in the endocrine and hormonal systems of the human body. 

To diagnose the disease and abnormalities, the endocrinologist requires detailed observation and concentration on even minor details. 

For this purpose, an endocrinologist must have excellent problem-solving skills. 

c. Strong Leadership Skills

An experienced or senior endocrinologist has to work with many people. 

Sometimes they also train the freshers, and other times they lead the entire group. In both situations, the leadership skills of an endocrinologist should be powerful. 

They must efficiently manage their teams to prove themselves responsible and good leaders. Strong leadership skills are essential if you work with yourself and your team.

d. Empathy for Patients

Sometimes, in the career of endocrinologists, a situation changes the lives of patients and their family members. In this situation, it is challenging to communicate with patients without empathy. 

If doctors empathize with their patients, they can deliver their diagnoses in the best and most comforting way possible. So, endocrinologists need to have empathy for their patients.

e. Know-How of Technology

Almost all lab work involves using complex and advanced technology that is constantly being updated. An endocrinologist must be proficient in how to use and maintain the technology. 

Also, they should always remain up to date regarding technology. It will help them throughout their whole career.

f. High Physical Stamina,

An endocrinologist typically works more than 40 hours per week. To work for this long, an average person should require high physical stamina.

If all these skills, as mentioned earlier, match your skills, you could be on your way to a financially rewarding and fruitful career in endocrinology.

How Much Do Endocrinologists Make?

According to PayScale research, an endocrinologist can make at least $148,000 annually. However, the highest they can make is about $287,000 per year. However, these figures can vary with different countries and states. 

Following is the chart of the average salaries of endocrinologists according to different states.


Average Salary per Year



















New York


New Jersey












District of Columbia




Final Thoughts – Becoming an Endocrinologist

Endocrinology is a promising field for physicians; it will assure job security for the foreseeable future due to a shortage of these professionals and a growing demand for them. Economic stability is also a given, particularly in areas of the country where endocrinology care is scarce. 

Overall, endocrinologists can expect a productive and satisfying career working in both private practice and for other organizations.

We hope this guide helped you best and answered all your essential questions.

Additional FAQs – Becoming an Endocrinologist

What Do You Study In Endocrinology?

The endocrinologist is a medical doctor who specializes in hormone production and disorders. It includes diabetes, thyroid disease, etc. 
Your endocrine system comprises hormone-secreting glands and specific organs in your body.

Is Endocrinology a Worthy Career?

It is a thriving medical specialty worldwide, with opportunities for advancement in academia, hospitals, and the public and private sectors. 
Endocrinology subspecialties include
Diabetes and metabolism
Nuclear medicine
Neurosurgical endocrinology
Reproductive Endocrinology
Pediatric and thyroid disease

What Are the Qualification Requirements For Endocrinologists in the UK?

Candidates must complete their foundation training, CMT, and MRCP(UK) exams. It would have been advantageous to have spent some of your foundation or CMT time attached to an endocrinology or diabetes team. We’ve covered this in detail in this article. Please review those above.

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