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New Medical Toxicology Fellowship Taps West Texas Regional Poison Center’s Resources

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, recently received accreditation for a new medical toxicology fellowship Exit Disclaimer to be implemented by the TTUHSC Department of Emergency Medicine in partnership with the West Texas Regional Poison Center at University Medical Center of El Paso (WTRPC) Exit Disclaimer. This is El Paso’s first fellowship approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and only the second medical toxicology fellowship in Texas.

Dr. John F. Haynes Jr.Exit Disclaimer, Medical Director of the WTRPC and Chief of the Division of Medical Toxicology Exit Disclaimer, and Dr. Stephen W. Borron Exit Disclaimer, Associate Medical Director of the WTRPC and Director of the Medical Toxicology Fellowship, led efforts in 2009-2010 to establish the program. The medical toxicology fellowship is a 24-month training program with a rigorous curriculum that will include active involvement in managing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear exposures. A state-of-the-art simulation center will offer fellows realistic simulations of exposures related to disaster preparedness; industrial hygiene & safety; occupational & environmental medicine; and substance abuse & abstinence syndromes.

Fellows will also gain experience in the evaluation & management of an array of differential diagnoses and will interface with toxicological issues distinctive to the bi-national region. “Because of our unique location directly on the U.S/Mexico border, exposure to an expansive scope of toxicological hazards is present” said Dr. Borron.  

As America’s first 24-hour bilingual regional poison center certified by the American Association of Poison Control Centers and the only poison center located directly on the US/Mexico border, the WTRPC will provide fellows with a unique training experience. Fellows will have the opportunity to observe and field calls involving substances unique to the border region and participate in consultations with physicians from both sides of the border. Fellows will also have the opportunity to become confident in Spanish through language lessons, training courses, and Spanish lectures. Beyond learning Spanish, fellows will also learn of the challenges involved in providing services to a multilingual and multicultural population.

The fellowship is in the recruitment phase for the first two fellows with plans to recruit two additional fellows each year. For more information, visit the WTRPC Exit Disclaimer Web site.