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Forensic Pathology Fellows Graduation 2016

June 30, 2016

New York, NY – The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) today marks the conclusion of the Forensic Pathology Fellows Training Program 2015-2016 academic year by announcing that the program has trained 100 forensic pathologists to date since its launch in 1990.

Spanning more than a quarter century, the OCME Forensic Pathology Fellows Training Program has produced one-fifth of the approximately 500 board-certified forensic pathologists in the United States. Graduates of the OCME program include current and former chief medical examiners in more than 20 jurisdictions, including New York City, and medical examiners serving throughout the country.

New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said: “With this year’s class, the OCME Forensic Pathology Fellows Training Program continues its outstanding tradition of educating the next generation of leaders in forensic pathology. Our graduates are prepared to serve communities in the most challenging times, throughout the five boroughs and nationwide, with excellence and compassion.”

The OCME Forensic Pathology Fellows Training Program was established by former New York City Chief Medical Examiner, the late Dr. Charles S. Hirsch. Many graduates of the program continue to work at OCME, helping to ensure that New York City is protected from the pressing national shortage of medical examiners. The number of forensic pathologists currently working in the United States is estimated to be half the number needed to serve the nation’s criminal justice and public health systems.

The 2015-2016 fellows class is the largest to date at OCME, with five fellows in Forensic Pathology, and two fellows in advanced training for Forensic Neuropathology and Cardiovascular Pathology. The class includes fellows who hail from Croatia, Ireland, Mexico, and Russia, in addition to the United States.

Fellowship Program Director Dr. Susan Ely said: “New York City has trained a substantial proportion of board-certified forensic pathologists nationwide, and our graduates are as diverse as the populations they serve. We congratulate the class of 2015-2016 as we mark this milestone for our program.”

This year’s graduates in Forensic Pathology include Dr. Rafael Garcia, Dr. Declan McGuone, Dr. Stephen Melito, and Dr. Jacqueline Nunez, and Dr. Kanayo Tatsumi. The graduates in Forensic Neuropathology and Cardiovascular Pathology include Dr. Nika Aljinovic and Dr. Zhanna Georgievskaya.

Established in 1918 as the first governmental agency of its type in the United States, OCME provides expert services across the full range of forensic science disciplines. OCME operates the largest public crime DNA laboratory in North America, in addition to laboratories in toxicology, histology, and the nation’s only public molecular genetics laboratory. The agency is home to the country’s largest forensic pathology training program, which has trained 100 board-certified forensic pathologists since 1990. OCME also houses a department of forensic anthropology, and maintains a division of specially trained experts to respond to any and all fatality events, no matter what hazards may be encountered during recovery.

For more information, please contact the OCME Public Affairs Office at (212) 447-2041.