January 28, 2021
The year 2021 sounds like an idyllic futuristic time when we should be exploring the galaxy on the Enterprise. I think Marty McFly would be surprised to find the Cubs finally did win the World Series; we are in the midst of a global pandemic and still facing social injustice. Albeit frustrating, we still must overcome the familiar challenges of 2020.
I know we will find a way to triumph over these challenges. It will require more resiliency, persistence, and patience than we have ever known. We must incorporate best practices in protecting ourselves and preventing the spread of COVID19 and seek justice in our world.
Even during a pandemic, the AACT will not waver from its mission to provide its members with clinical toxicology education, research and service opportunities, which will enhance your scholarly efforts and promote your academic careers. The AACT monthly webinars will continue, and we will have our first critical care panel webinar in March. Christine Murphy and Brandon Wills will be opening up the NACCT abstract selection committee to fellows. If you are interested in involving your fellows in abstract reviews, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “NACCT Mentored Abstract Review.” This will give fellows a great experience and prepare them to evaluate and elevate the science presented at the NACCT.
Our Executive Director, Jessica Konrath has been multi-tasking on many projects. She is organizing the NACCT 2020 symposia on the AACT Clinical Toxicology Learning Portal, so we can all enjoy asynchronous learning and continue collecting educational credits. She also has created a Section Liaison who will be interacting with our Section chairs to coordinate activities and increase member involvement. There will also be an AACT Research Development group starting soon that will be a valuable tool for fellows and those who still remember gastric lavage. Late this spring, her team will roll out a mobile app that will connect all of our members to each other and put the AACT in your pocket.
Members can now write questions and contribute to The Question of the Day. This is a great way to stimulate reading old and new toxicology literature. Read an article and write some questions and keywords, complete the form and upload the PDF of the article. Writing questions is an excellent method to increase your synapses on key concepts and create more sulci for your brain. Your colleagues will be impressed when they see credit given to your AACT Section or Fellowship, or Poison Center, or simply you.
There are many excellent virtual toxicology meetings on the horizon. This is your opportunity to travel the world without long flights, COVID19 and the beverage cart hitting your knee. From your own happy place, you can register and attend the, Society of Toxicology (SOT) starting March 12th, Middle East and North Africa Clinical Toxicology Association (MENATOX), March 28-30th, ACMT Annual Scientific Meeting April 14-16th, and the European Association of Poison Control Centres (EAPCCT) Congress scheduled May 25-28th. You will see AACT participating in all of them.
In this month when our nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his vision and leadership, we can look to him for inspiration in this quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Kirk Cumpston, DO