TOXIC MUSHROOMS AS A TEACHING TOOL
UP Medical Students Get ‘New Direction’
in the Compass Program
MARQUETTE, MI: Ingesting Galerina Autumnalis will lead you to the emergency department, while the Hericium Ramosum might land you on “Top Chef”. What’s the difference between these two mushrooms and how can you tell? Dr. James Addison, Marquette General Hospital Emergency Department (MGH ED) physician and Internal Medicine Clerkship Director at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine U.P. Campus, recently spent time with U.P. Campus medical students to teach them just that.
The students joined Dr. Addison on a hike through a U.P. wilderness with the intent to familiarize the learners with some of the basic field characteristics that help to identify mushrooms in the field and to review the major toxins that mushrooms may produce and the species that produce them.
“While we don’t see too many cases of toxic mushroom ingestion in the MGH ED, we do get a dozen or so calls a year from people who fear they may have eaten a dangerous species,” according to Dr. Addison. “I have a great deal of respect for the toxic mushroom cultures and their effects, and am quite pleased to share that knowledge with our medical students.”
When medical students from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Lansing, MI., are selected to participate in the Rural Physician Program, they know they’re coming to the U.P. to learn. And when they arrive, they have the option of earning an additional certificate by participating in the Compass Program: Northern Wilderness Emergency and Sports Medicine.
“It’s an opportunity for our students to learn in many interesting ways and locations,” said Patti Copley, Community Administrator at the UP Campus. “Our program provides experiences and additional curriculum for medical students training them to better care for patients sustaining sports or wilderness injuries far from a hospital or clinic, and better prepare them to serve as a community resource when they find themselves as the physician at a wilderness or sports related emergency site.”
In addition to the toxic mushroom foray, the students will also complete Outdoor Emergency Care Certification and experience a weekend mountain travel and rescue experience. Periodic didactic sessions, lectures and practice relate to topics in wilderness, emergency, and sports medicine. These including hyperbaric oxygen treatment, management of common biking and kayaking injuries, snowmobile trauma, camping, intestinal illnesses, lightning injuries, envenomizations, sun and fire burns, management of heat related injuries, and fresh water drowning. The students are required to complete a month long elective experience in Emergency Medicine, Wilderness Medicine or Sports Medicine.
Compass Program certification also requires students to volunteer in the community at related activities and events for a minimum of 80 hours prior to earning their certificates and take trauma call during their Emergency Medicine month of training maximizing their exposure to patients with related injuries, such as hikers making a meal from nature’s trail.
And Dr. Addison’s advice for those adventurous enough to go foraging for food?
“If you can’t identify it, don’t eat it.”
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DR. ADDISON is the Featured Clerkship Director for October
JAMES R. ADDISON, M.D., Emergency Medicine at MGHS
Internal Medicine and Advanced Medicine Clerkship Director
Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI -BS
Wayne State University, Detroit, MI - MD
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI- Internal Medicine
Dr. Addison is a dedicated and committed clerkship director, and is highly regarded
by students and administration alike.
Terms often used regarding Dr. Addison include,
"Generous," "Reliable," and "Really Good Looking."
Connie Miller, Community Clerkship Assistant at the U.P. Campus says, "He's always on top of
things. He's available and willing to help, and makes my job so much easier!"
"Dr. Addison goes above and beyond to make sure that students are learning what they need to learn and have a successful and positive experience," according to Patti Copley, Community Administrator at the U.P. Campus.
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