Continuing education programme — Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • With the increasing requirement of the courts for forensic experts to engage in ongoing education, a continuing education programme (CEP) was developed in the field of clinical forensic medicine at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in 1996. This programme has been described and was initially established to provide a means of education for the contracted forensic medical officers who provide forensic services to the police via the Institute throughout the State of Victoria. Owing to the sparsity of the population and the considerable distances between forensic practitioners, the CEP was designed to cater for individuals who are working alone: in effect, a distance education programme. Forensic pathologists expressed interest in the programme and it was subsequently modified to include forensic pathology cases. Currently, the programme caters for both clinicians and pathologists, and takes the form of four to five cases with related questions which are circulated several times per year. The cases include a mixture of both challenging and ordinary procedural types that may present to practitioners working in either clinical forensic medicine or forensic pathology, or both. The areas covered include: * injury interpretation * procedural matters in relation to adult and child sexual and physical assault * pharmacology/toxicology interpretation of findings * medico-legal issues (e.g. confidentiality, consent, etc.) * issues relating to alcohol and drugs * traffic medicine * clinical and legal aspects of sudden natural death * suspicious deaths * suicide * interpretation of findings at autopsy * fitness for interview * fitness to plead * psychiatric issues * general clinical medical issues. The presentation of each case includes relevant and appropriate details/findings and may include photographs. A series of questions follow which are answered in either short answer or multiple-choice format. The answers are returned and are correlated by a review panel of forensic physicians and pathologists, and a commentary with the response outcomes is distributed to all those involved. This also includes pertinent references. The cases presented here and in subsequent issues are selected from this programme.

publication date

  • September 1998