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Medical toxicology experience during em elective

Attending Supervisor: Christina Hantsch, MD (pager 19708, email )
Additional Instructors: Renee Petzel, PharmD (pager 11025, email ) and
Katherine Martens, MD (email )

The medical toxicology experience consists of activity at Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC) in Maywood, IL and the Illinois Poison Center (IPC) which is in downtown Chicago, IL. Any questions about the experience should be directed to Dr. Hantsch.

Educational Objectives

  1. Describe the general approach to poisoned or potentially poisoned patients including aspects of decontamination, laboratory assessment, antidote therapy and disposition.
  2. Recognize the scope of the practice of medical toxicology, a subspecialty of emergency medicine.
  3. Describe the role of medical toxicologists in emergency preparedness.
  4. Identify the functions of poison centers.


  1. One shift (8 hours) at IPC including participation in morning case discussion and other educational activities (on a Monday) as well as observation in the call center.
  2. One day participation on the Medical Toxicology clinical service at LUMC.
    1. Participate in clinical rounds, new patient evaluations.
    2. Participate in ED clinical pharmacist evaluation of medication profiles for ED patients.
    3. Didactic lecture attendance and web-based material review of information on the general approach to poisoned/potentially poisoned patients, chemical weapons of mass destruction, emergency preparedness, other relevant topics.
    4. Introduction to web-based and print resources for toxicology information.
    5. Training session on ED/pharmacy stock of antidotes and antidote cache.

The student will be expected to include medical toxicology activity in their emergency medicine rotation log including:

  1. IPC shift information
    1. Shift supervisor on duty
    2. Lectures, IPC educational activities attended
    3. 2 sample calls from the shift (poison, basic patient information, resources utilized in patient management, other unique case information.)
  2. LUMC Medical Toxicology shift information
    1. Patient encounters (medical toxicology consults and ED clinical pharmacist evaluations.)
    2. Lectures
    3. Web-based activities


The student will submit a copy of their log to Dr. Hantsch after completion of the medical toxicology experience. Performance assessment will be provided by Dr. Hantsch to the EM Elective course director. Medical toxicology material will be included on the emergency medicine rotation examination. Formative feedback from the instructors will be ongoing.

Medical Toxicology Clinical Service at LUMC

The student should page Dr. Hantsch at 2100 on the evening before the scheduled toxicology day to discuss current patients on the service.

The student should report to the EMS library at 0900 on the morning of the scheduled toxicology day. A handout of materials will be available for the student from the EMS secretary. After completion of review of the handout materials, the student should evaluate all current LUMC toxicology patients. The list of patients can be found by checking the “Medical Toxicology Consults” list in the shared patient lists in EPIC. The student should be prepared for rounds with Drs. Hantsch and Petzel by 1100.

Illinois Poison Center Shift

The Illinois Poison Center (IPC) and the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC) is located at 222 S. Riverside Plaza, which is the building above Union Station. (See map below.) The building lobby can be accessed directly from the main entrance on Adams Street. It is also connected via an underground tunnel to Union Station Self Park at 320 S. Canal Street (entrances on Canal Street and Clinton Street.) To access the building from Union Station or the underground tunnel, take the escalator from the Amtrak ticket area toward Canal Street. Instead of exiting to Canal Street, go up the stairs and through the revolving doors to the lobby. Another option is to enter from ground level on Canal Street and proceed up the stairs to the revolving doors. The security staff at the lobby desk will give you a visitor pass. You will need to show photo identification.

Metra Train: The IPC is in the building located above Union Station (see above details.) The Ogilvie Transportation Center is located at Canal Street and Madison Street, which is two blocks north of the IPC.

CTA “L” Train: The IPC is within a short walking distance of two L stops. One is the brown/orange/purple line Quincy/Wells Street stop, which is just south of Adams Street and three blocks east of the IPC. The other is the blue line Clinton Street stop, which is two blocks south and one block west of the IPC.

Detailed public transportation information can be found at .

The dress code is business casual (no jeans/shorts). You do not need a white coat. The IPC is a call center and therefore there is no direct patient contact. There is usually a journal club starting at 0900 on Monday followed by teaching rounds at approximately 0930. The journal club articles are posted at . Click on “Client Login”. Enter “ccbh” for Institution Login, “tox” for Username, and “tox” for Password. Click on the conference calendar and select the Monday for which you are scheduled.

IPC days are from 0900 to 1700. Please note that some toxicology rotators are dismissed after rounds, but Loyola students are to report to the chief CSPI or shift supervisor on duty in the IPC at the conclusion of rounds for the afternoon portion of the day.

 Illinois Poison Center
Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council
222 South Riverside Plaza, 19th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 906-6000




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  © 2001 Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. All rights reserved.
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Please send questions or comments to: Joseph Mueller , M.D.
Updated: 11/09/2010 ... Created: 11/09/2010