Important Note

Tufts ended funding for its Open Courseware initiative in 2014. We are now planning to retire this site on June 30, 2018. Content will be available for Tufts contributors after that date. If you have any questions about this please write to

Tufts OpenCourseware
New hormones and endocrine pathways have recently been discovered. These discoveries increased our understanding of normal human physiology and behavior which provides insights into the pathophysiology of various diseases. (Graphic courtesy of Dr. Pittas)
Highlights of this Course

In addition to covering the basics in the Concepts in Endocrine Pathophysiology lecture, the lectures in this course cover a wide range of subjects, from Pituitary Neoplasia to Diabetes and Obesity - Treatment to Goiter and Thyroid Nodular Disease. The course also contains Small Group Discussion sessions which consolidate the concepts and facts acquired during the lectures and pursues the ability to solve common clinical problems in Endocrinology and Metabolism with sample cases and solutions.

Course Description

The endocrine system has always had a certain mystique among scientists, clinicians and the general public. More recently, new hormones and complex endocrine pathways have been discovered that have increased our understanding of normal human physiology and behavior and provided insights into the pathophysiology of various diseases. As a result of these recent advances, the endocrine system has assumed a prominent role in our understanding and management of common medical conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and aging.

This course provides a brief review of endocrine physiology. The course teaches the pathophysiology of each of the following endocrine areas through didactic lectures and small group discussions. It covers adrenal cortex, adrenal medulla (catecholamine excess), disorders of calcium metabolism (hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia), diabetes mellitus, obesity and the metabolic syndrome: pathogenesis, complications and management, obesity: pathogenesis, complications and management, thyroid disease, hypothalamic and pituitary disease, hypoglycemia, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The student wil learn the mechanism of action of the various medications used in the treatment of endocrine disorders as a way to emphsize physiology and pathophysiology. The concepts and facts learned during the lectures will be applied to solve clinical problems in the small group discussion sessions. The small group sessions prepare students to handle endocrine cases during their clinical years and prepare them for the USMLE exams as well.

Please note that the course as presented here does not contain the full content of the course as taught at Tufts. The included content is based on material the Tufts faculty and instructors choose to include, as well as factors such as content preparation, software compatibility, and intellectual property and copyright restrictions.
Course Faculty
Anastassios G. Pittas
Ronald Arky
Ronald Lechan
Stephanie Lee
Abdollah Sadeghi-Nejad
Richard D. Siegel
Ann Sweeney
Arthur S. Tischler
Roberto Toni
George Tully
Course Length
25 Hours
2nd year