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Monroe County & URMC Offering New Forensic Pathology Fellowship

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) announced the launch of a new one-year forensic pathology fellowship program. The fellowship is made possible through a partnership between URMC’s Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and the Monroe County Office of the Medical Examiner (MCOME).

Recruitment is now underway for the position, which will likely start next summer. The partnership was first announced by County, State, and University leadership in 2017 and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved the fellowship in April.

“As the first of its kind program in Upstate New York, I’m proud that Monroe County is leading the charge, in partnership with the University of Rochester, to increase access to education in this critically important field,” said Dinolfo. “The work of the Office of the Medical Examiner aids in the administration of criminal justice cases and provides accurate data to be utilized for public health and education needs.”

The fellow will train primarily at the Office of the Medical Examiner and actively participate in on-scene death investigations and court appearances. They will accompany forensic pathologists and later give sworn testimony in court cases in which they have participated. The fellow will also do training at the Monroe County Crime Lab and be trained in forensic anthropology, forensic toxicology, firearms and more.

“This forensic pathology fellowship is a testament to the hard work that our team (together with Monroe County) has undertaken to expand upon the training opportunities offered to residents, both locally and beyond,” said Bruce Smoller, M.D., chairman of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. “We are excited to see the long-awaited fellowship come to fruition and hope it will serve to create a pipeline of forensic pathologists in our region.”

Dr. Nadia Granger, Monroe County’s Medical Examiner, is a graduate of URMC’s Pathology Residency program. She hopes that offering a fellowship opportunity will attract graduating residents to the region. This will be the second forensic pathology fellowship in New York State.

“The forensic pathology community, especially in Upstate N.Y., is always looking for new staff and it is hard to recruit for these jobs because candidates usually travel in winter and spring and think snow is all we have to offer,” said Granger. “The University of Rochester is well-known for graduating pathology residents who pursue forensics as careers. Exposing a graduating resident to an entire year under our tutelage would improve the odds of that resident staying in the Upstate area for work.”

The MCOME investigates over 3,000 deaths each year including approximately 50 homicides, and 1,200 autopsies annually. It is currently staffed by three full-time, board-certified forensic pathologist in addition to a team of forensic toxicologists, medical death investigators and autopsy technicians.

Recruitment for the new fellowship is now underway. Interested fellowship candidates may go to the online application to submit their information or email the fellowship coordinator at Melissa_Sullivan@urmc.rochester.edu.