Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $300,000)
There is a nationwide shortage of board-certified forensic pathologists. It is estimated that over 500 additional ones are currently needed. The Connecticut Office of Chief Medical Examiner has been approved by the ACGME to provide two FP fellowship positions. We are seeking funding for two positions to help increase and replenish the number of Forensic Pathologists. The immediate objective for meeting our goal is funding. Our current two-year budget cycle does not provide this funding. Our objectives are to fund these positions, recruit and train qualified fellows, and graduate new forensic pathologists. The existence of a New England regional FP fellowship may induce more pathologists to pursue this career path.
Our strategy begins with recruitment. All of the pathology residents of the three Connecticut pathology programs rotate at our office. They gain exposure to FP and some consider pursuing FP fellowships. With our own training program, we hope to retain some of these residents. Our program was rigorously scrutinized by the ACGME and approved in April 2019. We will offer exceptional training at our NAME-Accredited, statewide office and through our core faculty of nine board-certified forensic pathologists. Our core faculty are active teachers and engage in numerous research projects. We have ABMDI certified investigators and employ a board-certified Forensic Anthropologist. Our program will closely monitor the progress of our trainees, teaching best practices, and pledge that they attain board certification. We will prepare our graduate’s transition to practice by full exposure to death investigation, jurisdictional decision-making, quality assurance, and courtroom testimony. We will teach them work-life balance skills as a foundation for a lengthy career in this field.
Several strong partnerships make our training program standout – these include a graduate medical education-liaison with UCONN, all the Pathology Residency Programs and Medical Schools in Connecticut, an ABFT-accredited toxicology laboratory, a state Crime Lab and Crime Scene teams, and the University of New Haven/Henry Lee Institute. The most important outcome of this grant funding will allow us to deliver high-quality, well-trained, board-eligible forensic pathologists. We will monitor the success of our program through board certification rates. With your support we will continue training new forensic pathologists to perform sound medicolegal death investigations and improve public health and safety.