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Endocrinology is now in its fortieth year and Sixth Edition, and it continues to evolve. After all, evolution to fit a changing environment is a law of nature that applies equally well to medical publishing as it does to the biological systems we seek to understand. Indeed, the rapid changes in information dissemination are necessary to keep pace with progress in science and medicine. In this Sixth Edition, we have retained the founding goals of this text while responding to the innovative means by which students, practicing clinicians, and researchers now acquire information.

As in the five prior editions, we provide a comprehensive, contemporary textbook that spans basic and clinical aspects of endocrinology. In addition to the traditional gland-based structure, readers will recognize a focus on the clinical presentations of disease, and an emphasis on multi-hormonal integration of endocrine function, perhaps a prime example of “systems biology.” Another change in this edition is more complete coverage of pediatric endocrinology because the division of pediatric and adult endocrinology is largely arbitrary and many physicians care for patients from all age groups.

A striking feature of our field is the explosion of knowledge ranging from the discovery of new hormones and drugs to the impact of genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics on how we classify diseases and conceptualize signaling pathways. These advances are all the more reason to seek information sources that synthesize and prioritize subject matter. We are proud to work with the most accomplished international authorities in the preparation of this text. Armed with electronic means to write, revise, edit, and update topics, this group of authors has succeeded in keeping pace with the latest advances in their specialty areas.

We also aspire to make the text interesting to read, relevant, and accessible in clinical practice settings. We have streamlined the book noticeably, so that it now fits within two sets of covers of reasonable weight. There is a hard-cover version for those who feel most comfortable with the book in hand, perhaps idyllically relaxing in a comfortable chair, and an online version for more “contemporary” readers who prefer the immediacy of online access to www.expertconsult.com between patient visits. The online version also provides direct links to original reference sources and monthly sectional updates so that important new ideas can be presented during the lifetime of this edition to keep it current.

In closing, the editors express their gratitude to the several hundred authors who have balanced their many other obligations to prepare truly masterful presentations for this Sixth Edition.

J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD

Leslie J. De Groot, MD