services, such as toxicologic testing in traffic-related deaths.(Victor Weedn, Alan Trachtenberg).

  • Lack of competitive salaries. Salaries are low, and so impair recruitment and retention of forensic pathologists (Richard Bonnie, Randy Hanzlick, Ross Zumwalt, Victor Weedn).

  • Lack of modernized equipment and poor working conditions. These hamper the field and its development (Victor Weedn).

  • Lack of research. Researchers frequently use medical examiners’ data without including the medical examiners as collaborators (Randy Hanzlick). Lack of research stymies public health and precludes development of an evidence base for the field itself (Richard Bonnie, Randy Hanzlick).

  • Opportunities for growth. The field has a genuine opportunity for growth because of burgeoning interest by the public health and criminal justice communities. Public health had ignored forensic pathology for years until it began to focus on violence as a public health issue. The time is ripe for greater collaboration with public health and criminal justice, as long as the field expands its manpower through an infusion of funding and trainees (Marcella Fiero, Alan Trachtenberg).

  • New forms of financing. User fees are used in some jurisdictions for select purposes, but they often have idiosyncratic purposes and so fail to promote standardization and comprehensiveness in data acquisition (Victor Weedn). A piecemeal approach to disease or injury however, is not a good way to garner resources (Kurt Nolte). New forms of financing need to be cultivated for the field (Richard Bonnie).

  • Commitment to the field. Greater efforts are needed to interest first- and second-year medical students in forensic pathology before they begin to commit to other specialties (Mary Fran Ernst, Kurt Nolte). Forensic nurses could be used to assist medical examiners and coroners in handling the increasing public interest in addressing nursing home deaths (Vincent Di Maio)

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement