The Endocrinology Service provides comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of endocrine and metabolic disorders. Endocrine disorders include:
Thyroid disorders - hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer, and thyroid nodule biopsy by fine needle aspiration)
Diabetes Mellitis, hypoglycemia, impaired glucose intolerance
Bone/Calcium disorders - osteoporosis, Paget's disease, osteomalacia, Hypo/Hyperparathyroidism
Patient ages range from 16 to octogenerian, and are individually referred from within the institution or the regional referral area. They are individuals suspected of having an endocrine disorder, or known to have an endocrine disorder and need treatment or further evaluation.
Patients commonly manifest a wide range of endocrine and metabolic problems ranging from simple primary hypothyroidism to polyglandular endocrine dysfunction to metabolic bone disease. Depending upon the patients' condition and level of assistance sought by the referring health care provider, the service required may be simply advice or an extensive diagnostic evaluation and treatment plan, to include dynamic endocrine testing. If a patient has a thyroid nodule, a fine needle aspirate may be required. Patients with metabolic bone disease may require x-ray and bone mineral density studies in addition to laboratory evaluation. About 98% of the patients are seen on an outpatient basis in the clinic and about 2% are inpatients.
Patients are referred to the clinic by their primary health care provider (PCP). The patient is then given an appointment. The extent of the patient's needs is determined during the appointment session. If dynamic testing is needed, the patient will be given an appointment. The follow up of results are done by phone consultation or having the patient make a follow-up appointment.
Patients who need repeat or long term endocrine follow-up are instructed to make follow-up appointments at designated intervals. FNA of the thyroid is performed in the clinic by one of the endocrinologists. There are two board-certified endocrinologists who provide all the patient care, to include doing fine needle aspirates of the thyroid.
The Endocrine Service has no assigned nursing staff. The dynamic endocrine testing is performed by a nurse that staffs the Infectious Disease Service. Diabetic education is coordinated through the nursing staff in the Internal Medicine Clinic and Dietary Services. The Endocrine Service is staffed with one full-time secretary.