Elective Program

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Department: MEPAT-Pathology
Course: 530-Forensic Pathology
Pathway:

Course Director: Ana Lopez
Course Faculty: Ana Lopez
Elective Location: OTHR
Elective Offered Terms:
Months: 1B,1C,2A,2B,2C,3A,3B,3C,4A,4B,4C
Two Week Periods:
Min. Number of Students: Max:  1
Elective Type: Clinical
Credits
Matriculating prior to fall 20158
Matriculating fall 2015 and beyond4
Pre-requisites: Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Surgery, OBGYN, Family/Community Medicine, and Neurology
Open to US Visiting Students: No
Open to International Visiting Students: No
Grading: H,HP, P, MP, F Narrative Evaluation
Faculty Approval: Yes

Time Commitment Percentage of time expected
Regular Hours (Mon-Fri): 5 days/wk; 9 hrs/day Inpatient Ward:
Night Call: No Inpatient consultations:
Number on-call nights: Outpatient clinics:
Weekends: No Surgery:
    Laboratory
  Didactic:
  Other:
Course Description & Learning Objectives:
During the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences’ (HCIFS) forensic pathology rotation, Harris County medical examiners will demonstrate the forensic autopsy and describe the process of death investigation, both from a medicolegal and clinical perspective. Faculty will discuss the role, importance, and limitations of the forensic autopsy, including the importance of scene/circumstantial evidence and chain of custody. Students will have the opportunity to attend death scenes under the supervisor of forensic investigators. Additionally, students may accompany medical examiners to the Harris County Criminal and/or Civil Court to observe courtroom testimony related to forensic autopsy findings. Forensic scientists from various laboratory disciplines will provide an overview and explanation of HCIFS medical examiner and crime laboratory services during a full-day tour of the agency. The agency tour includes forensic toxicology, forensic genetics, trace evidence, firearms identification, forensic anthropology, histology, drug chemistry, and forensic investigations. At the conclusion of the forensic pathology rotation the student will; assign the cause, manner, and mechanism of death based on forensic autopsy findings, indicate when and how clinicians should sign death certificates, recognize the importance of scene/circumstantial evidence and chain of custody, and describe the requirements for deaths reported to the Medical Examiner/Justice of the Peace, based on Texas law.

Learning Objectives

-Describe the process of death investigation and the role, importance, and limitations of the forensic autopsy

-Explain how to assign the cause, manner, and mechanism of death based on forensic autopsy

-Describe the requirements for deaths reported to the Medical Examiner/Justice of the Peace, based on Texas law



Learning Activities
7:30 a.m. (daily) - review of daily decedent list and prepare for individual case presentations

8 a.m. (daily) – attend and present cases at the morning doctor’s meeting, including overview of pathological findings of previous day’s cases

(daily, to be scheduled with attending on service or designated faculty) - observe autopsies

(daily, to be scheduled with attending on service (Dr. Lopez) or designated faculty) – attend faculty development lectures (when scheduled)

(daily) - Self-directed learning time, including self-directed review of pathology lectures

(weekly, to be scheduled with attending on service (Dr. Lopez) or designated faculty) - attend or review pathology lectures



Standing Meetings & Conferences:

Tuesdays (10 a.m.) – Forensic Neuropathology Conference

Wednesdays (3:30 p.m.) – Wednesday Case Conference

Fridays (3:30 p.m., as needed and scheduled) – Cardiovascular Pathology Case Conference

Fourth Thursday (9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) – Crime laboratory disciplines, forensic entomology, forensic anthropology, histology, and investigations rotations

Evaluation Methods
Clinical Performance 75%
End of rotation assessment (multiple choice exam) - 25%
Students work closely with faculty and residents. The required evaluation forms are completed based on consensus of those who worked closely with the faculty.

When and Where to report on first day of service:
11861 Old Spanish Trail Houston, TX 77030. Samantha Abascal (email is Samantha.Abascal@ifs.hctx.net). Arrive at 7:45 am.
For additional information regarding this elective contact:
Contact Name: Samantha Abascal
Contact Phone: 832-927-5111
Contact Fax: 832-927-2872
Contact Location: Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, Forensic Pathology, 1861 Old Spanish Trail, Houston, TX 77054
Address:
Email: Samantha.Abascal@ifs.hctx.net
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