The present status of endocrinology in France is characterized by features that are in a minor part specific for this discipline but in a major part shared with other fields of science and medicine. This is also true for international comparisons, especially in research. French endocrinologists are submitted to the same international competition and must publish in the same journals as their foreign counterparts. However, they have also very specific training, funding and promotion systems.
Research is performed mainly by laboratories funded by INSERM (agency for medical research), CNRS (agency for general research) and the Universities. In comparison with other countries, relatively little research, especially fundamental research, is carried out in pharmaceutical companies. University funding is very low, so the best laboratories tend to belong to CNRS or INSERM. The creation of an INSERM (or a CNRS) Unit is very competitive. A Unit is reassessed every 4 years, but