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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. 

Click here 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."  

Forensic Toxicologists

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?  

After one completes an undergraduate education, he or she must go to medical school, which can either be allopathic or osteopathic.

Prospective medical toxicologists must then complete a primary residency, which is a program of at least three years in length that offers specialty training. The majority of medical toxicologists have completed a primary residency in Emergency Medicine, Preventive Medicine, or Pediatrics.

Medical toxicologists are also required to complete a two year fellowship in medical toxicology to become eligible for board certification. The fellowship is the period in medical education when a physician concentrates on his or her subspecialty. Medical toxicology is one such subspecialty.

There are a variety of training programs available, which can be found here. These programs are approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. 

Board certification in medical toxicology is granted through the American Board of Emergency Medicine, the American Board of Preventive Medicine, and the American Board of Pediatrics. Find out more about board certification here.

There are also rotations in medical toxicology available to medical students and residents, which can be found here. These rotations typically last about four weeks, and offer exposure to medical toxicology in the clinical setting. Medical student rotations are a great way of gauging interest in medical toxicology.


Get Involved

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.

ACMT Newsletter

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.

ACMT Forum

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 offers a variety of medical toxicology conferences.

ACMT Membership

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.

Resident Member:
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.

There are many benefits to ACMT membership.