Interested in Becoming a Medical Toxicologist?
The following information is targeted towards high school, undergraduate, and medical students who might potentially be interested in a career in medical toxicology. This page offers more information about medical toxicology and how to become a medical toxicologist.
What is Medical Toxicology?
Medical toxicology is the branch of toxicology operated by physicians. The following section is devoted to information about medical toxicology. Medical toxicology is just one disc
Medical Toxicology is a medical subspecialty, practiced by physicians, focusing on the diagnosis, management and prevention of poisoning and other adverse health effects due to medications, occupational and environmental toxins, and biological agents. Medical Toxicology is officially recognized as a medical subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Medical toxicologists are involved in the comprehensive high level care of people and patients who come into contact with drugs, substances or other agents that pose a threat to their well being.
Learn more about the professional services a medical toxicologist provides here.
Toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of drugs, chemicals, and biological agents on people, animals and the environment. There are a number of different types of toxicologists.
Unlike medical toxicology, other branches of toxicology do not necessarily require a medical degree. Prospective toxicologists often seek out post-doctorate education in the field of toxicology after receiving a PhD or MD.
for more information about becoming a toxicologist from the Society of Toxicology (SOT,) "a professional and scholarly organization of scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing the great variety of scientists who practice toxicology in the U.S. and abroad."
According to the Society of Forensic Toxicology, "forensic toxicologists are those scientists engaged in the analysis of biological fluids and tissues for drugs and/or poisons and who interpret the information generated from these analyses in a judicial context." Click here
for more information.
How Do You Become a Medical Toxicologist?
As with all the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) recognized specialties, without training there is no specialty.
After receiving a medical degree (M.D. or D.O.) from an allopathic or osteopathic medical school, prospective medical toxicologists must then complete a primary residency. The majority of medical toxicologists have completed a primary residency in Emergency Medicine, Preventive Medicine, or Pediatrics. Yet, a prospective medical toxicology fellow can complete training in any primary specialty. However, due to the rigors of each fellowship training site, specific medical toxicology fellowships may have minimum clinical experience before one can apply. Therefore, specific primary residency training in Emergency Medicine, Preventive Medicine, and Pediatrics have historically provided the best clinical background for successful completing of a medical toxicology fellowship.
A medical toxicology fellowship is a two year requirement in order to become eligible for board certification. Some fellowships are longer if a degree completion (for example, Masters of Public Health) or a large research component is part of the training. A number of Medical Toxicology Fellowship programs are available nationwide. A complete list of programs approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) can be found here. Check with specific fellowship training programs to ensure you are on-track to become a competitive applicant.
In general, medical toxicologists are physicians who specialize in the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of illnesses from exposures to drugs, chemical, and biological agents. The specialty also focuses on the diagnosis, management, and prevention of withdrawal conditions and addiction. With these areas of focus, the core content serves as the basis for medical toxicology fellowships’ curriculum. This curriculum was developed by Medical Toxicology Subboard as part of the Board of Medical Specialties.
Once an ACGME-approved medical toxicology fellowship has been completed and all eligibility criteria have been met, a candidate can then sit for the Medical Toxicology Board exam. To see a full list of eligibility criteria to sit for the Medical Toxicology Board Examination click here.
A Board-Certified Medical Toxicologist is precisely positioned for an active academic career in medicine. Medical toxicologists provide services in many different clinical and non-clinical environments. Some work directly with patients in emergency departments, ICU’s or inpatient units to provide bedside consultation. Others work in outpatient clinics. Some work directly in industrial/commercial sites to evaluate hazards and chronic work place exposures. Some perform medical-legal evaluations. Many are affiliated with regional poison centers, academic hospital systems and/or residency programs. Overall, medical toxicologists are well-suited for clinical work, teaching, research, and administrative duties. Regardless, there are endless opportunities for medical toxicologists and career options are numerous.
Journal of Medical Toxicology
The Journal of Medical Toxicology is the official print journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology. This international, peer-reviewed journal is dedicated to advancing the science and practice of medical toxicology, a medical subspecialty focusing on the diagnosis, management, and prevention of poisoning/toxicity and other adverse health effects resulting from medications, chemicals, occupational and environmental substances, and biological hazards. More information is available here.
The official quarterly newsletter
of the American College of Medical Toxicology includes association news, informative articles, and brief reports on issues and updates on the healthcare industry with emphasis on those affecting the practice of medical toxicology.
The Forum of ACMT
is an online moderated discussion system that facilitates the discussion, debate, discourse and dissemination of information that is of interest to the medical toxicology community.
ACMT has a special category of membership available to both students and residents.
Medical Student Member:
Medical students enrolled in a medical school are eligible to become Medical Student Members. These members shall enjoy all of the privileges of membership except that they shall not have the right to vote, hold office or become Fellows. Medical student membership will be limited by the duration of the individual's training program. An online subscription to the Journal of Medical Toxicology (JMT) is included.
Physicians who are currently enrolled in a training program in any medical specialty are eligible to become Resident Members. Resident members shall pay reduced dues and enjoy all of the privileges of membership except that they shall not have the right to vote, hold office or become Fellows. Resident membership will be limited by the duration of the individual's training program. An online subscription to the Journal of Medical Toxicology (JMT) is included.