Residents in AP and AP/CP programs rotate for one month at the office, generally in the last year of training. Residents directly participate in autopsy rounds each morning observing the medical examiners in the various approaches to the investigation and certification of cause and manner of death, prosections of selected cases, and daily case discussions ("sign-out" rounds) between the senior staff of medical examiners and the forensic pathology fellows. The rotation also includes tutorial sessions each afternoon, where staff pathologists, anthropologists, and other in-house experts present forensic topics specifically for the visiting residents, students, and scientists, and special seminars (Grand Rounds) are held each Thursday where experts lecture on diverse topics related to the forensic sciences.
This is the only mandatory off-site rotation for our program. Residents have no weekday duties at the medical center during this rotation but are available for weekend call.
Expectations for the OCME rotation:
Residents and medical students are REQUIRED to swipe their OCME-issued ID badge on the badge scanner each time they enter and leave the building. These swipes will be audited. If visitors enter or leave as a group, each must ensure that they swipe their individual ID badge.
Residents and medical students are REQUIRED to sign in at both the 8AM Triage conference and 2PM (1:30PM on Fridays) didactic lecture.
Residents and medical students are REQUIRED to inform OCME staff in advance of any expected absences during their rotation.
Residents and medical students are REQUIRED to be present and ON TIME to the daily 8AM Triage conference. The conference begins at 8AM sharp so rotators should arrive before 8AM. Residents and medical students are also REQUIRED to be present and ON TIME to the daily 2PM (1:30PM on Fridays) didactic lecture, 3PM (2:30PM on Fridays) consensus conference and Thursday 4PM case conference.
Residents and medical students are excused for the day after the conclusion of the 3PM (2:30PM on Fridays) consensus conference or after the conclusion of the 4PM case conference on Thursdays.
The following will be expected of all rotating Pathology residents:
Participation in at least one autopsy each day with a supervising medical examiner. If there are few cases, multiple residents can be assigned to the same case. The amount of participation will be dependent on the medical examiner's comfort level with the resident.
Pathology residents may no longer count autopsy cases that they do not personally assist with for Boards/Residency quota purposes. As a reminder, here are the regulations from the American Board of Pathology's Booklet of Information:
"In order to report an autopsy to the ABP, the applicant must have actively participated in the following (as appropriate to the case):
review of the clinical history and circumstances of death
external examination of the body
gross dissection, including organ removal
review of the microscopic and laboratory findings
preparation of a written description of gross and microscopic findings
development of an opinion as to the cause of death, including clinical-pathologic correlations
review of the autopsy report with teaching staff."
A draft autopsy report of the assigned case must be turned into the supervising medical examiner by the morning following the autopsy. (Monday morning for cases done on Fridays). Digital or hard copies are permitted but drafts must be submitted in the allotted time period regardless of format. If the medical examiner is not in the office, it should be placed in their mailbox in the corridor on the first floor or emailed.
It is the responsibility of the rotating resident to follow up with Allison Toriello at a future date on cases where the cause and manner of death are pending.
Coordinator, Residency Training Program Department of
Pathology & Cell Biology Columbia University College of
Physicians & Surgeons
630 W. 168th Street
New York, NY 10032 Tel: 212 305-5697 e-Mail:firstname.lastname@example.org