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FY 2023 Forensic Pathology Fellowship Program Grant

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $150,000)

The Montgomery County Coroner's Office (MCCO) provides professional autopsy services to 42 counties in Ohio and 2 counties in Indiana.  There were 7002 deaths reported to the MCCO in 2022.  Complete forensic postmortem examinations were conducted on 2294 cases.  The problem to be addressed is the dramatic increase in the number of autopsies since 2017 due in large part to an "opiate crisis" involving heroin, fentanyl, and fentanyl analogues affecting our area of responsibility.  The MCCO had a record-setting year in 2017, with 6,271 deaths reported.  These numbers have increased, with MCCO averaging 6896 reported deaths annually since 2018 with a high of 7445 deaths reported in 2021.  The number of autopsies reached an all time high in 2017, with 2,394.  Since 2018, MCCO has averaged 2207 autopsies per year.  There is a nation-wide shortage of forensic pathologists and it is critical to train new doctors in forensic pathology to fill those vacancies.  In addition, the MCCO has a critical need in training a fellow to perform forensic postmortem examinations due to the number of autopsies projected.  

The MCCO offers an overall program consisting of diversified and comprehensive training that affords trainees extensive hands-on experience in all aspects of forensic pathology.  The fellow's anticipated outcome/major deliverables include successful completion of 200-250 autopsies, demonstrating significant scholarly activity as defined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and successfully demonstrating the six ACGME competencies which are patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and system-based practice.  Grant funding is vital to accomplish this mission and to provide continued support to the 44 counties served by the MCCO and to address the nationwide shortage of forensic pathologists, requiring the creation of a pipeline of forensically trained doctors through forensic pathology fellowship programs.  The MCCO goals and objectives include training a doctor in forensic pathology through the MCCO ACGME-accredited fellowship program.

Date Created: September 8, 2023