Pediatric endocrinology is a branch of medicine. It deals with
the physical growth and sexual development of children and adolescents.
These doctors also diagnose, manage and treat diabetes and other
disorders of the endocrine glands in children ranging from infancy to
adolescence. Some specific disorders and conditions a pediatric
endocrinologist may diagnose or treat include adrenal hypoplasia,
androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS), Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome,
cerebral salt-wasting syndrome (CSWS), Graves disease, glucocorticoid
therapy and Cushing syndrome, hypophosphatemic rickets, Laron syndrome,
McCune-Albright syndrome and Nelson syndrome.
Pediatric endocrinologists deal with type 1 diabetes. This
disease makes up at least half the cases a general clinic practice will
manage. Other more common problems pediatric endocrinologists typically
treat are growth disorders, intersex disorders, hypoglycemia, issues
with puberty, obesity and thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal problems.
Pediatric endocrinologists may also specialize in inborn errors of the
metabolism, adolescent gynecology, lipid metabolism and bone metabolism.
Typically this type of endocrinologist completes four years of
medical school, three years of medical residency, and three years or
more of fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology in order to
practice. They may establish their practices in a variety of locations,
including children's hospitals, community hospitals, private offices,
and university medical centers. If a child requires the services of an
endocrinologist, his or her regular pediatrician will normally make a
Lawson Wilkins, an American physician and professor of
pediatrics, is credited as the pioneer of pediatric endocrinology. From
the late 1940s to the mid-1960s he created the department at Johns
Hopkins Medical School and the Harriet Lane Home in Baltimore. Born to a
general practitioner, Wilkins devoted his clinic to problems of growth
and genetics. His book The Diagnosis and Treatment of Endocrine
Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence became a reference for pediatric
Pediatric endocrinologists in the United States may belong to the
Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society. Other international
professional organizations include the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine
Group, the British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology, the European
Society for Paediatric Endocrinology, and the Japanese Society for
Pediatric Endocrinology. Nurses who specialize in pediatric
endocrinology may belong to the Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society.
Many nonprofit organizations and other societies that promote
research and funding for endocrinology projects, as well as aid for
patients. These include the Magic Foundation for Children's Growth, the
Human Growth Foundation, Turner Syndrome Society and the Endocrine
Society. Some endocrinology publications include Endocrine Today, the
Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology & Metabolism, and the International
Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology.