What do ACMT and Dartmouth have in common? How can you leverage the ACMT’s resources for your own academic advancement? ACMT President Charles McKay, MD, FACMT, answers these questions and more!
Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School (the latter now renamed after an undergraduate alum who was a children’s author - but that is another story) were my undergraduate and medical schools. Two hundred (and one) years ago this month, the New Hampshire state legislature created “Dartmouth University” as a public university in a short-lived (2 year) takeover of the private Dartmouth College. High emotion, theft, and violence followed as various factions fought over attempts to remove library contents, and professors stole the college’s seal and charter. The College filed a lawsuit, which worked its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1818. Senator Daniel Webster (also a Dartmouth alum) presented a strong and eloquent case, famously (at least to those of us imbued with “the granite of New Hampshire in our muscles and our brains”), stating:
“It is, Sir, as I have said, a small college. And yet there are those who love it!”
So what does all this have to do with ACMT—other than the fact that a number of us have Dartmouth roots (Paul Wax, Carl Baum, Katie O’Donnell, Rebecca Buccoleri…I know I am missing others…Let me know!)?
Well, we too are few in number in the very small specialty of Medical Toxicology – yet there are those who love it! How can we leverage our impact as a small specialty?
The Board of Directors is changing our structure to better support the activities of the College and its members. We are highlighting some of these activities and the mechanisms by which you can be involved in every newsletter. Many – if not most – of you are involved in academic institutions where your advancement depends on some are of focus and output. Just as the Dartmouth College Supreme Court case is considered a legal landmark in the free enterprise system of American capitalism, I would encourage ACMT members to leverage the College’s resources for your own academic advancement (all you need to do is take ownership and put in the time!):
- If you are seeing patients at the bedside, the ToxIC registry is available to input your on-site patient care and consultations – the College is working under the leadership of Tony Pizon to use this as a tool to help members with Quality Measure documentation.
- If you are involved in clinical practice, you are aware and probably involved in addressing some aspect of the opioid epidemic. Are you involved in Tim Wiegand’s Addiction Medicine webinars on 2nd Fridays? Can you take your local, regional, or statewide activities and benefit from involving your national specialty organization? For example, the Medical Toxicology Foundation has grants available (and we encourage all members to look at the MTF Annual Report – and donate!). Contact Tim Wiegand.
- If you are research-focused, contact Diane Calello to discuss working with the ToxIC group to promote multi-center research.
- If you are an educator, ACMT has opportunities within the Education Committee in the form of multiple conferences and courses—both established and in development—that may elevate your local expertise to a national platform. Contact Bryan Judge to see how you can be involved.