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Department of Emergency Medicine

Medical Toxicology Elective

EMER 7650 Medical Toxicology

This four week 4th year rotation* meets Mon-Fri, approximately 0800-1500, during all rotations blocks. 

This course will provide an in-depth review of the pharmacology and toxicity of common medications, drugs of abuse, plants and animals, and household chemicals. The student will interact with medical toxicologists, residents in emergency medicine and other specialties, pharmacology students, and pharmacists. They will participate in daily didactics, receive lectures covering common toxicologic exposures and round on poisoned patients admitted to the Emergency Department or hospital with the medical toxicology consult service. In addition, students with have the unique experience of working beside Specialist in Poison Information (SPIs) at the Utah Poison Control System.

Role of the Student in this Course

Poison Center duties: students will be expected to arrive at the Poison Center at 0800. They will participate in both daily poison center rounds as well as inpatient rounds at the University of Utah and Children’s Hospitals with the Toxicology team, learning both the pharmacology of various toxicologic exposures and the clinical/exam findings associated w/ exposures. They will conduct telephone follow-ups and provide recommendations to caregivers of poisoned patients under the supervision of Poison Center staff. They will receive daily lectures on commonly encountered toxicologic exposures (e.g. Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Carbon Monoxide, Envenomations, Household Poisons, Plants and Mushrooms, Drugs of Abuse, Pediatric Exposures).

Medical Student rotators will participate in alternating weekly case conference or journal club on Monday afternoons as well as occasional national case conferences on Thursdays. They will complete one in-depth case presentation and give a 10-minute presentation on a toxicologic topic of interest to them as agreed upon with the course directors. 

Course Goals

As a result of successfully completing Introduction to Toxicology, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the fundamentals of identification and management of common toxicologic
  2. Gather, record and present data on patients referred to the Poison Control
  3. Perform a physical exam specific to the intoxicated


Students must be in their 4th year of medical school and in good standing. All third year core clerkships must be complete. Only two student may enroll in each section.

Course Requirements

  • First-day orientation session
  • Mon-Fri 8am-3pm 
  • 5-10 minute in-depth case presentation
  • 5-10 minute toxicology topic discussion