In Memoriam: Dr. John Doull
By Christopher P. Weis, Ph.D., DABT
Rarely does a scientist obtain such recognition as to become a household name among others in their field. Dr. John Doull, who passed away on March 24, 2017 at the age of 94, was such a man. Pioneering concepts in toxicology long before many of us were born, Dr. Doull received his doctorate in pharmacology from the University of Chicago in 1953, and went on to serve as Associate Professor and Assistant Director of the Toxicology Laboratory there. Through a long and distinguished career, John Doull went on to serve on dozens of federal advisory panels for EPA, NIOSH, DHHS, NCTR, and NIEHS, influencing public health policies and decisions at the highest levels of government. His work influenced the lives and careers of thousands of professional toxicologists. John Doull devoted his entire life to the study of the emerging science of toxicology, receiving the Career Achievement award in 2013 from AACT as an emeritus professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center. As an author of Cassarett and Doull’s Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons, Dr. Doull’s influence and teachings will continue to shape the science of toxicology for years to come.
Dr. Doull was one of the original Board members of the American Board of Toxicology, beginning as Vice President and subsequently becoming President. He provided many of the questions for the first examination, held in 1980. While he never took the examination, feeling it would be unfair as he helped provide many of the original questions, he stayed involved with ABT throughout the years. At the ABT Open Mixer meeting celebrating its 30th year, Dr. Doull gave a presentation about the importance of ABT certification.
Dr. Doull will be fondly remembered and greatly missed. His obituary can be read here.
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ABT Practice Analysis Publication
In 2015, the ABT, in collaboration with the Society of Toxicology (SOT), and in consultation with Professional Examination Service, performed a practice analysis study of the knowledge required for general toxicology. The purpose of this study was to help assure that the examination and requirements for attainment of Diplomate status are relevant to modern toxicology and based upon an empirical foundation of knowledge. A profile of the domains and tasks used in toxicology practice was developed by subject-matter experts representing a broad range of experiences and perspectives. An on-line survey of toxicologists, including Diplomates and SOT members, confirmed the delineation. Results of the study can be used to improve understanding of toxicology practice, to better serve all toxicologists, and to present the role of toxicologists to those outside the profession. Survey results may also be used by the ABT Board of Directors to develop test specifications for the certifying examination and will be useful for evaluating and updating the content of professional preparation, development, and continuing education programs. To learn more about this effort check our online open access article published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27647630.