ACMT Prepares Physician Poisoning Experts for Board Certification

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Medical toxicologists are physicians with specialized training in the identification and treatment of a vast array of human poisoning syndromes. There are currently only 500 board certified medical toxicology specialists nationally. The American College of Medical Toxicology will provide a biennial board review course to aid physicians preparing to take this certifying examination.

American College of Medical Toxicology

...patients seeking expertise regarding potential poisoning may have to travel outside of their own region to consult with a medical toxicologist.

In order to prepare recently trained medical toxicologists for the board certification examination, as well as to provide continuing education and to update medical toxicologists who must take a re-certification examination every 10 years, the American College of Medical Toxicology will hold the 5th Biennial Medical Toxicology Board Review Course on September 8-10th in New Orleans, LA, in the Astor Crown Plaza Hotel. The course, featuring lectures from experts in various areas of medical toxicology, is specifically designed to aid in studying for the medical toxicology subspecialty certifying and re-certifying examinations and features a stimulus room with clinical images and case-based modules. The course is conveniently scheduled to optimize knowledge retention for the November examination date.

Poisoning can happen in many different ways, and the consequences can range from nearly instant collapse to an increased risk of disease decades later. Often poisoning is easy to recognize, as when a person becomes ill after using illicit drugs, or becomes unconscious after overdosing on a medication. But for many people, the term ‘poisoning’ conjures up thoughts of metals such as arsenic or mercury, gases such as carbon monoxide or cyanide, or pesticides used in agriculture or to prevent transmission of West Nile virus. However, exposure to a chemical does not indicate actual poisoning by that chemical, and diagnosis of true poisoning is often more complex than simple recognition of an exposure.

Medical Toxicology is a medical subspecialty that focuses on the diagnosis, management, and prevention of poisoning and other adverse health effects due to medications, occupational and environmental toxins, and biological agents. The field of Medical Toxicology is one of the newest to be recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties and as a result is still small, consisting of only about 500 board certified specialists in Medical Toxicology. Many states currently do not have practicing medical toxicologists and patients seeking expertise regarding potential poisoning may have to travel outside of their own region to consult with a medical toxicologist. The American College of Medical Toxicology recognizes this void and places a priority on promoting education within the field and on educating the public and other medical professionals on the services provided by its members. A list of in-patient and out-patient medical toxicology services provided by board-certified specialists is available on the ACMT website.

It is the vision of the ACMT that every potentially poisoned patient or population will have direct access to the expertise of a board-certified medical toxicologist. If an exposure occurs patients are advised to contact their regular healthcare providers, who may consider providing a referral to a specialist in medical toxicology. Medical toxicologists may also be located through regional poison control centers.

The American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) is a professional, nonprofit association of physicians with recognized expertise in medical toxicology. The College is dedicated to advancing the science and practice of medical toxicology.

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