Medical Toxicology

The Medical Toxicology Section within the Department of Emergency Medicine was developed to support the delivery of timely, high-quality emergency care across UCSF’s clinical sites and to drive education and research within this medical subspecialty both in the Bay Area and worldwide.

Our Mission

We envision a world in which everyone has access to the care they need when they need it. To achieve this vision, our section strives to:

  • Provide state-of-the-art clinical care to patients with acute poisoning, substance use disorders, and medication-associated adverse events.
  • Advance the field of medical toxicology through the contribution of creative works, including original and grant-funded research.  
  • Offer comprehensive training and education in medical toxicology and addiction medicine to fellows, residents, medical students, and pharmacy students.

What is Medical Toxicology? 

Medical toxicology is a medical subspecialty dedicated to the diagnosis, management, and prevention of poisoning from drugs, occupational and environmental toxins, and biological agents. Medical toxicologists evaluate a variety of such exposures, including acute overdoses of illicit and prescription drugs, management of withdrawal syndromes, envenomation, ingestion of food-borne or plant- and mushroom-based toxins, and exposures to hazardous chemicals. 


Medical and Pharmacy Students

We are committed to enhancing student education through our medical and pharmacy student courses. Students learn to assess and manage clinical problems associated with the toxic effects of drugs and poisons through small group case discussions and clinical evaluation of poisoned patients at the bedside.

Our courses include:

Emergency Medicine

EM 140.43 Clinical Toxicology & Pharmacology


Medicine 180 - Occupational Toxicology


CP 191 - Direct-Patient-Care (DPC) Elective Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (DPC elective)


Medical Toxicology is integrated into the resident teaching curriculum via didactic sessions occurring during the toxicology module of the residency conference.  The area of distinction (AOD) in medical toxicology offers emergency medicine residents the opportunity to gain additional toxicology experience through focused didactic sessions, journal clubs, and participation in original research. An advanced toxicology elective is also offered to residents interested in pursuing a toxicology fellowship after their emergency medicine training. 


The Department of Emergency Medicine trains future generations of medical toxicologists through its two-year Medical Toxicology Fellowship Program. The ACGME-accredited program provides comprehensive training in a variety of clinical settings both within and beyond UCSF sites. The fellowship prepares physicians for leadership roles in research, education, patient care, industry, and poison control center management.