Society Advocacy and Practice Management Initiatives to Be Highlighted at ENDO 2012

Whether you’re a clinician or a researcher, you’re bound to find something to interest you at ENDO 2012. The Society continues to advocate and develop resources for each of the key demographics comprising its membership. Below are examples of upcoming sessions that illustrate the initiatives the Society has undertaken to benefit endocrinology in these fields.

Transitioning Care for Type 1 Diabetes Patients

Endocrinologists who treat young adults with type 1 diabetes face a number of hurdles in coordinating care and providing optimum transitional guidance to their patients as they leave childhood. In an effort to close gaps in this transition process, the Society has been developing resources for pediatric and adult endocrinologists— and the patients they treat—specific to type 1 diabetes. At ENDO 2012, the Society will hold a practice management session on Sunday, June 24, from 2:45–3:30 p.m., with Drs. Carol Greenlee, Celeste Hart, and Katharine Garvey, to provide members with an overview of the difficulties likely to be encountered and the resources that have been developed.

Workforce Shortages

As the incidence of endocrine diseases such as diabetes and obesity increases, the demand for the services of an endocrinologist continues to grow. However, evidence suggests that there is a nationwide shortage of endocrinologists.

In 2000, the Society analyzed the projected supply of and demand for endocrinologists through 2020. The resulting data were the basis for a 2003 study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism titled, “A Model to Determine Workforce Needs for Endocrinologists in the United States Until 2020,” and have also formed the groundwork for the Society’s communications with policy makers. However, since the analysis was completed, many factors have changed, thereby bringing into question the applicability of the current projection model. Increasing the supply of endocrinologists is a top-tier advocacy issue for the Society, and without upto-date data, the Society does not have a strong basis for its arguments.

The Society partnered with the Lewin Group to update the projections, and the new findings will be presented at ENDO 2012. Society members are encouraged to attend the session on Monday, June 25, from 2:45–3:30 p.m., to learn more about the factors affecting the supply of and demand for endocrinologists, projected workforce numbers through 2025, and implications for the Society’s advocacy efforts.

Partnerships with NIH

Dr. Alan Guttmacher, director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), will discuss the future of the Institute and key scientific opportunities relating to endocrinology during the Saturday, June 23, morning Plenary Session. The Society recently participated in the development of the new NICHD Scientific Vision and provided recommendations on several endocrine-related topics supporting the Institute’s mission. Society leadership met with Dr. Guttmacher earlier this month to discuss his vision for NICHD and potential collaborations with the Society.

During the Saturday Presidential Symposia Session, Dr. Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), will discuss how environmental chemicals target multiple endocrine pathways. As part of the Society’s advocacy efforts on issues involving endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), the Society has prepared a statement that outlines endocrine principles that should be incorporated into studies that inform the regulation of these hormone-altering compounds. The statement is an extension of concepts described in the 2009 Scientific Statement and Position Statement on EDCs and will help the Society implement the advocacy goals established in those documents. The Society has also hosted briefings and participated in conferences including the [email protected] environmental policy lectures last month, at which Dr. R. Thomas Zoeller spoke about the impacts of low-doses of EDCs on human health. The Society hosted a Capitol Hill briefing last August to discuss the impact of EDCs on human health and participated in the European Commission’s EDC conference on the current challenges in science and policy earlier this month.

The Society will continue to represent its member clinicians and researchers through a variety of initiatives to benefit endocrinology. A comprehensive listing of the ENDO 2012 programs can be accessed at www.endosociety.org/endo2012/program/.

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