I have finally accepted the fact that I am really the President of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology. I became a member nineteen years ago and used to anonymously sit in the audience absorbing all the knowledge I could. I fondly remember lugging my three-ringed binder packed with speaker presentations and notes from the seedy hotel I was staying in, to the NACCT 2001 conference hotel in Montreal, Canada. Yes, this was right after the 911 tragedy in the United States. Despite that atrocity, the AACT and AAPCC were determined to convene NACCT so we could come together and share our knowledge. I even remember seeing Lewis Goldfrank there surrounded like a movie star. To me, his presence was symbolic of the resolve of our country to continue forward during a time of crisis.
The same strength, integrity, fortitude and justice must sustain the AACT and our world to heal and progress through evidence-based science. For 52 years the AACT has been the foundation of clinical toxicology in the United States and will only continue that mission because of your action. Think of AACT as the conduit of your ideas. AACT embraces our differences and is powered from the bottom up. Each individual effort creates a synergistic result that benefits the individual and the AACT. After some interlude, I realized nobody was going to invite me to lead, so I better stand and speak up.
I invite you to contribute as a Section member presenting at an AACT webinar, journal club or NACCT symposium, or writing the Question of the Day. Take advantage of the annual average of $30, 000.00 in research awards offered by AACT to advance your research and discover new diagnostics and treatments for our patients. Utilize the unlimited access to 52 years of Clinical Toxicology, submit manuscripts and become a reviewer. Obtain ABAT certification to be a leader in clinical toxicology at the bedside and in Poison Control Centers. Review and submit abstracts to NACCT or serve on an AACT committee. Change our practice by studying the evidence and publish as a member of the Clinical Toxicology Guideline Collaborative. Because of your outstanding service to the Academy, apply for Fellowship status.
The AACT is working on expanding mentorship and Section activities, a public relations AACTion committee, this President’s blog, as well as increasing student and fellowship involvement. A membership app is also in the works, which should positively impact your professional life as a clinical toxicologist through connecting and sharing information with one another. I am inviting you to stand and speak up as a member of the AACT, as we work for a better present and future for all of us.
The AACT is fueled by its members’ energy and finances, so please renew your vigor and membership together, or become a member. Of course, as a non-profit all donations are tax deductible so become a “Friend of the Academy.” The membership price is an incredible bargain and the return on your investment is exponential. Lastly, don’t forget to vote during the general election before polls close on November 3rd. This will be your most impactful act of 2020.
I will start my Presidency with, “I’d like to thank the Academy.” Because I am grateful for what my membership in AACT has done for my patients, my colleagues and me.
Kindest regards and warmest wishes,
Kirk Cumpston, DO, FAACT
President of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology