Consensus Development of a Core Content for a Standardized Medical Toxicology Curriculum for Medical Students.

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BACKGROUND: Currently, no standardized core content in medical toxicology exists for medical students. The goals of this study were to (1) assess the current state and needs of medical toxicology clerkships and (2) develop a consensus-derived list of core topics that should be covered during a medical toxicology clerkship.

METHODS: We assembled a task force established by the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) of nine experts in medical toxicology or emergency medicine. We developed a needs assessment survey that was sent to all medical student clerkship directors in medical toxicology. Based on their responses, we used a modified Delphi process to develop a consensus of core topics that should be covered during a medical student clerkship.

RESULTS: Nineteen out of 42 (45%) clerkship directors completed the survey; 18 met inclusion criteria. The majority of clerkships were 4 weeks in duration with an average of 15 students/year. The three most common teaching methods used were bedside teaching (n = 17/18), classroom teaching (n = 17/18), and journal club (n = 14/18). All the clerkship directors (n = 18/18) reported they would use a standardized curriculum as well as educational content developed by ACMT. There was overwhelming consensus on the core topics which included, but were not limited to, pharmacology/toxicology; drugs; drugs of abuse; natural products; pharmacological basis of antidote use; toxicologic syndromes; vital sign abnormalities; initial management; supportive and other care; withdrawal syndrome management; industrial, household, and environmental toxins; differential diagnosis by clinical findings; and ABCs-resuscitation.

CONCLUSION: The ACMT task force developed a medical toxicology clerkship core content. The task force also identified a need for shared resources among clerkships.




Emergency Medicine | Medical Education




Department of Emergency Medicine

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