Toxicology Fellowship

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Phot of Dr. Chris Holstege with toxicology fellows on a toxic plant/mushroom hunt at Humpback Rocks.

Dr. Chris Holstege (bottom right) with toxicology fellows and other students on a toxic plant/mushroom hunt.

The University of Virginia Medical Toxicology fellowship is located in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia. The Medical Toxicology Fellowship is a GME funded fully accredited fellowship with a curriculum that is designed to take advantage of the numerous opportunities at the University of Virginia. Our faculty is enthusiastic about teaching and dedicated to training outstanding fellows with a passion for the specialty.

For more information or to apply for the fellowship please contact:

Nathan Charlton, MD

Director, Medical Toxicology Fellowship Program

Phone: (434) 924-5185
Fax: (434) 971-8657
E-mail: npc8a@virginia.edu

Division of Medical Toxicology
Department of Emergency Medicine
P.O. Box 800774
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22908

Highlights of the Fellowship Program:

  • Faculty dedication to teaching
  • Supportive learning environment
  • Broad clinical experience
  • Teaching opportunities
  • Innovative technology
  • Research opportunities
  • Disaster Response Training

A broad clinical experience

The Medical Toxicology consultation service is a teaching service at the University of Virginia with approximately 500 consultations per year. The UVA Health System is a tertiary care referral center and level 1 trauma center located in Charlottesville, VA. The local and referral patient population ensure a broad variety of consultations which come from both the emergency department and inpatient services as well as outpatient toxicology clinic. The hands-on patient care provided allows for mastery of the subtle clinical findings of the poisoned patient. In addition to care provided at UVA, the fellows take call for the Blue Ridge Poison Center, a service that adds additional 2000 physician-to-physician consults each year. The poison center’s large coverage area spreads from the northern-most county to Southside Virginia, to the rural, mountainous western part of the state (see map).  Fellows treat all classes of poison exposures: pharmaceuticals, drugs of abuse, acute chemical exposures, snake/arachnid envenomation, mushroom/plant poisonings, and occupational toxicology poisonings.

Teaching Opportunities

Teaching is of the utmost importance and occurs daily, with teaching rounds and didactics led by the Medical Toxicology attending each morning. Rotators on the teaching service come from many backgrounds and include medical students, pharmacy students, residents, and fellows from other disciplines, enriching the educational experience. Medical Toxicology fellows take part in dedicated weekly educational sessions, designed to provide more in-depth education and prepare for independent practice. Toxicology journal club occurs weekly and is bolstered by rotator talks along with participation in national journal clubs and case presentations. Ample opportunities are available for fellows to develop their teaching skills with local and regional lectures. These activities are observed by the faculty and feedback is provided routinely so that skills can be refined. Faculty serve as mentors to guide the many writing opportunities that will be submitted for publication. Presentation skills, writing skills, and teaching techniques are presented as part of a fellow development curriculum. Fellows are encouraged to attend development workshops offered at the University and participate in the Public Health certificate program.

Educational Atmosphere

The faculty of the Medical Toxicology program have a passion for teaching. Our faculty have won numerous teaching awards and are regarded throughout the School of Medicine as outstanding educators. Our learning environment is supportive and rigorous with very successful pass rates for the Medical Toxicology board examination, but more importantly, our fellows become very competent toxicologists. As the fellows’ success is our ultimate goal, we will challenge our fellows to develop themselves as clinicians and educators.

Innovative Technology

The fellowship curriculum includes the use of innovative technologies for teaching. Web-Enabled Lectures, On-Line Examinations, Telemedicine Video Conferencing, and Human Patient Simulation are available to expand medical toxicology educational programming and complement more traditional teaching methods. Fellows have the opportunity to both learn and teach using these technologies, including patient simulation.

The Telemedicine Program at the University of Virginia provides interactive clinical support, medical and patient education using high-speed broadband communications to the underserved areas of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Currently, there are over 50 active sites within the UVa Telemedicine network. We broadcast educational lectures using telemedicine video conferencing to healthcare staff at hospitals in remote, rural, medically underserved locations.

Photo of medical toxicology rotaters learning with the Human Patient Simulator

Medical Toxicology rotators learning with the Human Patient Simulator

Research Opportunities

Fellows are expected to dedicate time developing skills that will allow them to become independent researchers. With a dedicated full-time divisional epidemiologist and access to numerous databases, epidemiological research opportunities abound. Members of our faculty are also involved in basic science and clinical research, both independently and as part of multi-site collaborative projects. As a top tier research university, the University of Virginia has a wealth of resources to assist fellows with projects, with mentorship available from internationally recognized researchers. Collaborative research projects are encouraged by the fellowship and the philosophy of the University. Previous and current fellows are active from the day of arrival in publishing during their fellowships (please refer to the Scholarly Activities page for examples).

Disaster Response Training

The Division of Medical Toxicology, in association with the Blue Ridge Poison Center, work is closely associated with Emergency Preparedness at the University and Health System. Fellows are encouraged to participate in Emergency Preparedness Committee activities, Regional Task Forces, Weapons of Mass Destruction Task Force and assist with the hospital ED decontamination team training.

Charlottesville

Located in central Virginia, Charlottesville is the home of the University of Virginia. This historic University was the nation’s first public university, founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. Rich in history, Charlottesville is also the home of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland and in close proximity to James Madison’s home, Montpelier. Charlottesville is surrounded by beautiful scenery with nearby access to Shenandoah National Park and numerous recreational activities. Charlottesville and the University bring cultural and sporting events to the area, with music, food, and outdoor activities making it consistently ranked as one of the top places to live in America.