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Southern DHB Endocrinology - Otago

Public Service, Endocrinology


The Endocrinology Service is a regional tertiary specialty service. It involves specialist care for complex endocrine disorders. The team consists of a range of health professionals including physicians, diabetes educators/nurse specialists, an endocrinology nurse, dietitians and a podiatrist. We also offer a telehealth service.
The service delivers an outpatient clinic service at Dunedin, Dunstan (Telehealth clinic - please note some new patients will have to travel to Dunedin for their initial appointment), Balclutha (Face to Face) and Ōamaru (Face to Face and Telehealth) hospitals.
We also have an inpatient service at Dunedin Hospital where we liaise closely with other specialties.
What is Endocrinology ?

Endocrinology is the study of the endocrine system in the human body. This is a system of glands which secrete hormones. Hormones are chemicals which affect the actions of different organ systems in the body. Examples include thyroid hormone, growth hormone, and insulin.

Your endocrinologist is a specialist doctor interested in diseases that affect your hormones. The major areas endocrinologists work in are:
  • diabetes
  • osteoporosis & Paget’s Disease
  • thyroid disease
  • sex hormone imbalances
  • disorders of growth and development
  • disorders of the pituitary gland
  • disorders of the adrenal gland.


Note: Please note below that some people are not available at all locations.

Referral Expectations

You will be referred by your General Practitioner (GP) to an endocrinologist if you have a problem with any part of your endocrine system (the system that makes hormones). Your referral will be prioritised (given a position on a list of other referrals) depending on the disease and its severity.
The average waiting time before an appointment at a clinic ranges from 2 weeks to 4 months, depending on priority. If you would like to consider telehealth for your appointment please let your referrer know. This can be offered if appropriate depending on the reason for referral.
You may be asked to undergo some tests or fill in a questionnaire before seeing the doctor in the clinic to help with the diagnosis. 
You will see either a specialist or a registrar (a doctor training to become a specialist who works under the supervision of a specialist).  There are also specialist nurses who may be involved with your appointment and ongoing treatment.
You may have ongoing follow-up in the clinic or have your treatment carried out by your GP with advice from the specialist.

Procedures / Treatments

  • Diabetes (diabetes mellitus)

    Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body deals with sugar.  The amount of sugar in the blood is controlled by insulin which is a hormone produced by the pancreas (an organ that lies near your stomach).… More

  • Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens your bones. Osteoporosis is not painful but it makes your bones more prone to breaking (fracture).  Women are more likely than men to suffer from osteoporosis and as you get older you are more likely to have it.… More

  • Thyroid Disorders

    The thyroid is a gland that sits in the front, and towards the bottom of, your neck.  It is responsible for producing a hormone called thyroxin.  Thyroxin has an important role in the body as it affects many organs including the heart, muscles and bones.  Diseases that affect the thyroid… More

  • Pituitary Gland

    The pituitary gland is in your brain.  It controls most of the endocrine (hormone) system in your body.  When disorders occur in this gland a variety of problems can appear.  If your doctor thinks you have problems in this area (usually discovered with a series of blood tests) they will… More

Contact Details

This page was last updated at 2:41PM on May 16, 2022. This information is reviewed and edited by Southern DHB Endocrinology - Otago.