Impact Story: Michael S. Toce, MD MS

Michael S. Toce, MD MS
2019 MTF Innovative Research and Teaching Award Recipient

Project Title: “Effect of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs on Pediatric Opioid Prescribing and Opioid-related Overdoses”

Award Amount: $6,625

Funding Period: July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020

About Dr. Toce

Dr. Toce is currently the attending physician, Pediatric Emergency Medicine/Medical Toxicology, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA

"In 2019 I was awarded the Medical Toxicology Foundation Innovative Research and Teaching Award to study the association of prescription drug monitoring program implementation on adolescent opioid prescribing and overdose. This award allowed me, for the first time, to enter the world of “big data”. Up to this point in my academic career, my research activities were limited to case reports and single-center retrospective studies. The funds from the MTF award allowed my mentor and me to gain access to one of the largest private insurance claims databases in the United States and extract the necessary information to determine how PDMPs affect pediatric patients. The preliminary results were presented at ACMT ASM 2020 while the full results were accepted for a platform presentation at the 2020 Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting for which I was awarded the Best Research by a Fellow Award by the American Pediatric Association.

Receiving the MTF award fundamentally altered my career trajectory by showing me what was possible within pediatric toxicologic research and has ignited a passion for research. I have subsequently investigated anti-epileptic overdoses utilizing the NPDS, examined the use of diagnostic testing modalities in pediatric marijuana overdoses using PHIS, and evaluated patient characteristics associated with pediatric naloxone distribution. Finally, in 2021 I was awarded the AACT Research Award to explore pediatric benzodiazepine prescribing and overdoses, once again utilizing a large insurance database. Each of these subsequent research studies built off of the skills and experiences that the MTF award afforded me."

" I feel so fortunate to have not only received the MTF award but also the continued support and guidance from the MTF. Their dedication to advancing the careers of young physician-scientists cannot be overstated and I am forever thankful for their support."

-Michael S. Toce, MD, MS