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Acad Emerg Med. 2000 Oct;7(10):1170.

Medical toxicology experience during emergency medicine residency

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  • 1Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL, Washington University, St. Louis, MO.


Medical toxicology (MT) is a core content area of emergency medicine (EM) as well as an American Board of Medical Specialties recognized subspecialty of EM.


To obtain information concerning MT education in EM residencies.


A questionnaire was sent to the director of each EM program in the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Residency Catalog. Subsequent telephone contact was made to encourage participation. Information was obtained about program format, poison control center (PCC) location, and inclusion of a toxicologist on faculty as well as specifics about MT rotations and organized educational activities.


Survey participation was 62 of 122 (51%) programs. A toxicologist is on faculty at 39 (63%) programs and 5 (26%) of the programs without a toxicologist intend to recruit one in the near future. A MT rotation is a requirement of 46 (76%), an elective at 12 (19%), and not available at 3 (5%) programs. The rotation is >/=4 weeks at 46 (78%) of the programs with a rotation. At 18 (31%), time is spent primarily at the hospital, while at 26 (44%) it is at the PCC. At 5 (8%) programs, equal/near equal time is spent at the hospital and PCC. The individual(s) providing resident supervision at PCCs is not uniform. Organized MT experience other than a rotation is included in 39 (63%) of programs.


Due to suboptimal participation, many issues regarding MT education in EM residency remain uncertain. However, some findings are clear. While most participating programs have a specific MT rotation, resident experience is quite varied. Many programs do not have a toxicologist on faculty. Future surveys will help to assess the development of MT education in EM residency programs.

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