Ellenhorn Award - Introduction of Dr. Frederick Lovejoy

Michael Shannon, MD, MPH
Children's Hospital
Boston, MA

The recipient of this year's Ellenhorn award is Dr. Frederick H. Lovejoy, Jr.

Int J Med Toxicol 2000; 3(5): 31
See also Ellenhorn Lecture; 3(5): 32

Dr. Lovejoy is the William Berenberg Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Associate Physician-in-Chief of Children's Hospital Boston. Dr. Lovejoy can truly be considered one of the pioneers of medical toxicology practice. A brief review of his CV will make the reasons for this clear.

Dr. Lovejoy graduated from Yale University and the University of Virginia Medical School before going on to complete his pediatrics training, first at Bellevue Hospital in New York then Children's Hospital Boston. Fred had the dubious honor of being the Chief Resident in Pediatrics at Children's Hospital for four years before joining the faculty.

It was as a pediatric resident that Dr. Lovejoy made his first major contribution to the field of medical toxicology. In 1967, as a senior resident, he published a case series on dystonic reactions to phenothiazine agents, being one of the first to show that these reactions could appear as late as 40 hours after ingestion of a single dose of a phenothiazine. Dr. Lovejoy was also one of the first figures in the world to characterize the features of the once-epidemic Reyes syndrome. The clinical staging of Reyes syndrome that guided medical practice for many years was based on the published observations of Dr. Lovejoy and his colleagues.

From 1972 to 1977 he was the Director of the Boston Poison Information Center. Then, in 1978 Dr. Lovejoy founded the Massachusetts Poison Control System, serving as its director for a decade.

Nationally, Dr. Lovejoy played leadership roles in the AAPCC, the AACT and the American Board of Medical Toxicology, the predecessor of the College. He was Chairman of the ABMT from 1978-1980 and President of the AACT from 1986-1988.

Dr. Lovejoy's greatest contributions to medical toxicology have come from the scholarly papers he published or co-published. He is the author of more than 300 publications including 120 original papers, 65 chapters and reviews and more than 100 abstracts. Many of these papers have left important, enduring marks on toxicology. Major findings that bear his mark include the use of single dose pyridoxine for Isoniazid overdose published in JAMA in 1981, description of predictors of esophageal injury after caustic ingestion, published in 1983, the clinical course of acute theophylline poisoning, published in 1983, the role of the QRS interval in tricyclic antidepressant poisoning, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1985 and a series of more than 6 papers describing the course of acute versus chronic theophylline intoxication, published from 1986-1996.

There is one other small chapter in Dr. Lovejoy's career as a leader in toxicology that few know but I think can be told now. It was in 1992 that medical toxicology stood on the brink of becoming the new subspecialty of three boards, the American Board of Emergency Medicine, the American Board of Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Pediatrics. At the 11th hour, talks began to break down between these three boards and for a period of time there was the real possibility that this long awaited goal was going to end just before it reached the finish line. Dr. Lovejoy worked quickly and relentlessly behind the scenes to help bring key issues to resolution, creating our subspecialty. He went on to become one of the first members of the Subboard of medical toxicology.

Several years ago, Dr. Lovejoy began to pursue his other passion, medical training. This road has taken him from the active practice of medical toxicology to his current positions. Dr. Lovejoy has become a recognized leader in residency training. He has also assumed a pivotal role in the process of faculty promotion and retention at Harvard Medical School.

Finally, I am particularly honored to introduce Dr. Lovejoy because he was my mentor. For more than 15 years he made pediatric house officers like me curious then interested then excited about the field of medical toxicology. The list of toxicologists who trained under Dr. Lovejoy is extensive and includes names well known at these meeting including Michael McGuigan, Pierre Gaudreault, Steve Marcus, Suman Wason, Fred Henretig, James Easom, Pat Grbcich, Susan Fish, Mary McCormick, Yona Amatai, Bill Lewander and Alan Woolf. Anyone who worked with Dr. Lovejoy or saw him at the meetings will remember his trademark bow tie, penny loafers, the pencil that was always in the mouth or behind the ear and his favorite words "TERRIFIC -GOOD. Our field owes a debt of gratitude to this always happy, always helpful, always encouraging pediatrician, scientist and medical toxicologist.


Int J Med Toxicol 2000; 3(5): 31
See also Ellenhorn Lecture; 3(5): 32

This article is located at

Quick Survey
Please rate this article:
1 2 3 4 5
(5 is best)

Ellenhorn Lecture; 3(5): 32" name="hdnSource" />

IJMT Home | Current Issue | Past Issues | Search | Technical Support | Send Comments to ACMTNet

Copyright 1999-2003, American College of Medical Toxicology.