Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine has been a respected information source for more than 60 years. Over time, the traditional textbook has evolved to meet the needs of internists, family physicians, nurses, and other health care providers. The growing list of Harrison’s products now includes Harrison’s for the iPad, Harrison’s Manual of Medicine, and Harrison’s Online. This book, Harrison’s Endocrinology, now in its third edition, is a compilation of chapters related to the specialty of endocrinology.
Our readers consistently note the sophistication of the material in the specialty sections of Harrison’s. Our goal was to bring this information to readers in a more compact and usable form. Because the topic is more focused, it was possible to increase the presentation of the material by enlarging the text and the tables. We have also included a Review and Self-Assessment section that includes questions and answers to provoke reflection and to provide additional teaching points.
The clinical manifestations of endocrine disorders can usually be explained by considering the physiologic role of hormones, which are either deficient or excessive. Thus, a thorough understanding of hormone action and principles of hormone feedback arms the clinician with a logical diagnostic approach and a conceptual framework for treatment approaches. The first chapter of the book, Principles of Endocrinology, provides this type of “systems” overview. Using numerous examples of translational research, this introduction links genetics, cell biology, and physiology with pathophysiology and treatment. The integration of pathophysiology with clinical management is a hallmark of Harrison’s, and can be found throughout each of the subsequent diseaseoriented chapters. The book is divided into five main sections that reflect the physiologic roots of endocrinology: (I) Pituitary, Thyroid, and Adrenal Disorders; (II) Reproductive Endocrinology; (III) Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity, Lipoprotein Metabolism; (IV) Disorders Affecting Multiple Endocrine Systems; and (V) Disorders of Bone and Calcium Metabolism.
While Harrison’s Endocrinology is classic in its organization, readers will sense the impact of the scientific renaissance as they explore the individual chapters in each section. In addition to the dramatic advances emanating from genetics and molecular biology, the introduction of an unprecedented number of new drugs, particularly for the management of diabetes and osteoporosis, is transforming the field of endocrinology. Numerous recent clinical studies involving common diseases like diabetes, obesity, hypothyroidism, and osteoporosis provide powerful evidence for medical decision making and treatment. These rapid changes in endocrinology are exciting for new students of medicine and underscore the need for practicing physicians to continuously update their knowledge base and clinical skills.
Our access to information through web-based journals and databases is remarkably efficient. While these sources of information are invaluable, the daunting body of data creates an even greater need for synthesis and for highlighting important facts. Thus, the preparation of these chapters is a special craft that requires the ability to distill core information from the ever-expanding knowledge base. The editors are therefore indebted to our authors, a group of internationally recognized authorities who are masters at providing a comprehensive overview while being able to distill a topic into a concise and interesting chapter. We are indebted to our colleagues at McGraw- Hill. Jim Shanahan is a champion for Harrison’s, and these books were impeccably produced by Kim Davis.
We hope you find this book useful in your effort to achieve continuous learning on behalf of your patients.
J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD