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Dinolfo Announces Monroe County Forensic Pathology Fellowship Program

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo was joined by officials from the Monroe County Office of the Medical Examiner and University of Rochester officials to announce a Fellowship Program that will allow University of Rochester doctoral residents the opportunity to conduct their Fellowship at the Monroe County Office of the Medical Examiner. This new Fellowship Program addresses the critical need for forensic pathologists, which is a need shared by Medical Examiner offices around the country amid a nationwide shortage.

“As our nation continues to grapple with a shortage of forensic pathologists, it’s essential that we seek proactive and meaningful solutions,” said Dinolfo. “Today, I’m proud to announce we are taking an important step forward and addressing this critical need by working closely with the University of Rochester Department of Pathology and Laboratory Services to establish a Fellowship Program. I know that this program will have a tremendous impact on the Office of the Medical Examiner in both the short-term and the long-term, and I want to thank Senator Schumer for his assistance in highlighting our program as a national model. Moving forward, I know our community can continue to rely on the professionalism of Dr. Granger and her staff and I look forward to the Fellowship Program beginning in 2019.”

Once the Fellowship Program begins in 2019, the Fellow would be an employee of the University of Rochester spending the entire year at the Monroe County Office of the Medical Examiner under the tutelage of Dr. Nadia Granger. The Fellow will receive hands-on experience not only in forensic pathology, but also in odontology, anthropology and forensic toxicology. Currently, residents at the University of Rochester hoping to pursue a career in forensic pathology must look elsewhere to conduct their mandatory one-year Fellowship. The Monroe County Fellowship will be only the second in New York State and the first in Upstate, as the only Forensic Pathology Fellowship Program in New York State is located in New York City.

“Not only will the Fellows provide temporary assistance in the Office of the Medical Examiner, the program will provide an added incentive for medical residents to choose the University of Rochester and Monroe County for permanent employment,” said Dinolfo. “It’s no secret that many people who live, work and study in Monroe County choose to stay here, so this Fellowship Program will open the door for more medical professionals to put down roots here and address any future shortages even before they occur.”

In addition to the new Fellowship Program, Dinolfo announced that one vacancy in the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office has been filled and the remaining vacancy is expected to be filled in July 2018. Combined with the new hires, the Fellowship Program will address the growth in demand for Medical Examiners in a comprehensive and proactive manner.

The effect of the shortage of Medical Examiners is worsened by the increase in drug overdoses as communities around the nation are faced with high levels of opioid addiction. Not only has the volume of autopsies increased, the length of time each autopsy takes has increased, as toxicology testing takes additional time to examine increasingly complex substances. The Monroe County Forensic Pathology Fellowship Program will help address this increased workload.