Spotlight on ISE Member: Endocrine Society of India

Spotlight on ISE Member: Endocrine Society of India

The Endocrine Society of India is the largest professional body of endocrinologists in India providing a common platform and network for clinicians, and researchers with a special interest in endocrinology.

We had a chat with the President of the Endocrine Society, Dr. Sanjay Kalra, who shared with us more about the society and all its exciting projects and plans.

Keep reading to find out more!

Interview with the President of the Endocrine Society of India

ISE: When was the Endocrine Society of India (ESI) formed? What does it do?

ESI: The Endocrine Society of India (ESI) celebrates its Golden Jubilee this year. Formed in 1971 by a group of 12 endocrinologists, it now has 1000+ members. ESI works to improve education, clinical care, research and advocacy in both clinical and basic endocrinology. ESI maintains a busy academic calendar, with symposia and workshops throughout the year. These are managed by our secretary, Dr. Sujoy Ghosh, and Joint Secretary, Dr. KVS Hari Kumar.

As a founder member of South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies (SAFES), ESI also facilitates educational and networking initiatives in partnership with neighboring nations. The Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism (IJEM), ESI’s free open-access journal is indexed in PubMed and Scopus. Its Editor-in-Chief, Prof Subhankar Chowdhury, welcomes submissions from across the world.

ISE: What is the status of endocrinology in India?

ESI: Endocrinology is a thriving specialty in India. Nearly 100 postgraduate students are admitted to three yearlong fellowship programs in clinical endocrinology every year. Endocrinology is perhaps the most sought after medical super specialty in the country. Endocrine consultants work in teaching and non-teaching hospitals, in both public and private sectors, across the country. Over the past decade, endocrine services have reached smaller cities and towns as well.

ISE: What unique diseases do Indian endocrinologists manage?

ESI: India shoulders more than its fair share of endocrine and metabolic disease. Diabetes, obesity, hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome are reaching epidemic, or rather, endemic proportion.  Apart from this, Indian endocrinologists encounter unique diseases such as snakebite pituitary dysfunction, Sheehan’s syndrome, severe rickets and osteomalacia, malnutrition-related diabetes, iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome, and infectious Addison’s disease. Our academic programs focus on these, as well as all other aspects of general endocrinology.

ISE: What are ESI’s strengths?

ESI: ESI’s hard-working fraternity grapples with a heavy patient load. At the same time, it spares time for peer education and public advocacy. Working within limited resources has helped create a system of endocrine care characterized by clinical acumen and therapeutic parsimony. These skills can be put to good use in other resource-challenged health care settings. Many Indian colleges offer observerships for foreign endocrinologists wishing to share experiences. Our skill development programs, which focus on trainees and early career professionals are excellent platforms for foreign colleagues as well.

ISE: What are some unique areas that India endocrinology is working on?

ESI: ESI’s members have contributed to globally relevant endocrine research and public health initiatives. These include goiter prevention through iodization of salt, the pathogenesis of hypoparathyroidism, genetic studies in various endocrinopathies, and diabetes prevention projects. A focus on ‘glucocrinology’, which aims to position diabetes as endocrine disease, and ‘glycemic happiness’ (euthymic euglycemia), which revisits our approach to diabetes care, are currently ongoing projects. Mind-body medicine in endocrinology is another area that we are paying attention to. Our academic theme for this year, Prevention of diabetes, is led by our Immediate Past President, Prof SV Madhu.

ISE: This seems as if Indian endocrinology is ‘all work and no play’!

ESI: Not at all. The ESI is a vibrant society. Our annual conference is marked by a cultural night titled ‘Colors of India’. Members of ESI come on stage to sing, dance, act and play. The cultural themes of recent years, ‘Sports and Endocrinology’, and ‘Hip Hop Happy Hormones’ reflect our passion and practices. The motto of one of our state’s team, ‘Haryanvi hormones are happy hormones’, is an apt description of Indian endocrinology.

ISE: What do you expect from ISE?

ESI: India is an active and enthusiastic member of International Society of Endocrinology (ISE). Through ISE, we hope to contribute to the advancement of endocrine science across the world. We wish to share the expertise and experience of our senior consultants, as well as energy and enthusiasm of our younger members. We also invite the ISE family to join us for our annual conference (ESICON), at Bangalore in September 2020. This is being managed by Prof. Ganapathi Bantwal, our President-elect, Dr Arpan Bhattacharya, and Dr Somashekhara Reddy.

At the same time, we are open to learning from colleagues who have specialized in, and excelled in specific areas of endocrinology. Through the multiple platforms that ISE offers, we hope to create a healthier, and happier, world.

ISE: What would you like to be known as?

ESI: ESI would like to focus on both preventive and curative aspects of endocrinology. This way, we aim to optimize endocrine health in our country. We would like to be known as the World’s Capital of Wellness Endocrinology.