History of Endocrinology
The founding of the Society for Endocrinology 60 years ago marked the beginning of the specialty field of hormones and chemical messengers. This was the period of steroid biochemistry and bioassays. The field has metamorphosed; major changes have occurred from applications of advances in other fields. The development of immunological, receptor-binding and phosphorylation assays consolidated the principles of endocrinology, providing the means of identifying and quantifying hormone status and action. The tenets of hormone deficiency, excess and resistance belong to this era. Endocrinology continues to be one of the most dynamic disciplines in biomedical science and among the most quantitative of the specialties in which the marriage of clinical and basic science is very strong.
Advances in clinical chemistry, molecular biology and information technology have brought about major changes in the field of endocrinology. The future practice of endocrinology will be influenced by secular health trends, consumer expectations and the globalisation of health. Pharmacotherapy will remain the backbone of endocrine therapy led by developments in drug delivery technology, pharmacogenomics, combinatorial chemistry and paracrinology. The endocrine-related consequences of obesity and ageing will be major health problems, demand for anti-obesity and anti-ageing treatments will escalate. There will be increased blurring between endocrine disease and non-disease. The future clinical endocrinologist must continue to practice evidence-based medicine to improve the treatment of genuine endocrinopathies.
Read more about the future of endocrinology and hormonology in Ken K. Y. Ho's excellent article in the Journal of Endocrinology.