In 2014 the UA College of Pharmacy announced a new two-year toxicology fellowship at the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center that is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
Under the program, a PharmD graduate and an MD graduate work side-by-side for two years, sharing knowledge and skills for the benefit of patients. It is an extension of a medical toxicology fellowship that was already in place.
“This is a unique program and the product of an interdisciplinary collaboration between the College of Pharmacy’s poison center and the College of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine’s medical toxicology program,” Mazda Shirazi, Medical Director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center and a medical toxicologist, said.
“This program is only possible because of the long-standing interdisciplinary relationship between pharmacists, physicians and nurses at the poison center.”
Shirazi, who is also Director of UA’s medical toxicology training program, believes the poison center program to be the only one that pairs a medical toxicologist with a pharmacy toxicologist.
“The power of this fellowship will be in the interdisciplinary sharing of knowledge. We’re putting a pharmacist through a physician’s toxicology program, and we’re exposing a physician to the in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and pharmaceutical science that a pharmacist has.”
Specialists in the field of medical toxicology can diagnose and treat many conditions involving harmful substances, including drug-drug interactions, lead and arsenic poisoning, and biocompatibility issues such as those that can occur as a result of implants in the body. There are only about 400 medical toxicologists in the country.
The pharmacy fellowship in clinical toxicology is in collaboration with the medical toxicology training program from the UA Medical Center – South Campus, which is certified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
Video: Toxicology fellows talk about their fellowship experience.