forensic medicine resources for medical students

Established in 1999, still remains the only website dedicated to providing comprehensive educational resources to medical students on forensic medicine and pathology, and has been archived by the UK Web Archiving Consortium (, having been selected for preservation by the Wellcome Trust (

This subject is rarely taught at undergraduate level in the UK and so this website remains a unique resource for the application of forensic principles to clinical medicine.

Some may find the subject matter distressing. It is not my intention to offend, but to provide educational materials for medical students (and others); if you are likely to be offended by the subject of violent injury/ death, and the aftermath of such violence, please do not proceed any further into this website, which is not suitable for viewing by minors.

This website is best viewed with Google Chrome and Firefox web browsers.

what is forensic pathology?

Forensic pathology is a sub-specialty of histopathology. and is concerned with the application of pathological principles to the investigation of the medico-legal aspects of death.

F orensic pathologists are medically qualified doctors who perform autopsies (postmortem examinations) on those who have died suddenly, unexpectedly, or as a result of trauma or poisoning.

Read more about forensic pathology here.

Forensic or legal medicine has been described as a key to the past, the explanation of the present and to some extent a signpost to the future.

Goode AW and Cameron JM. Medicine, Science, and the Law 2000; 40:2-3

Read about the role of the forensic pathologist in a leaflet produced for the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine (UK Royal College of Physicians).

Curated educational resources for forensic medicine/ pathology

Simpson’s Forensic Medicine 13th Edition, Arnold Publishing 2011

As the forensic pathology contributor to this textbook, I can confidently say that it will not disappoint those who want a compact overview of forensic medicine and science.

And also available to buy here is the Irish edition.

Knight’s Forensic Pathology (4th Edition 2016)

Browse the book preview at Google Books:

Anatomy revision resources can be found here.

Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine (2nd Edition 2015)

death investigation in America – PBS investigates

Popular television shows portray death investigators as high-tech sleuths wielding the most sophisticated tools of 21st century science. An unprecedented collaborative investigation by FRONTLINE, ProPublica and NPR found a very different reality: A dysfunctional system in which there are few standards, little oversight, and the mistakes are literally buried.

Post mortem – documentary airing from Tuesday 1st February 2011 on PBS

The anatomy of crime – The Wellcome Collection exhibition (until 21st June 2015)

The striking exhibition poster and leaflet image

If you are at loose end for a few hours in central London, why not visit this new free exhibition examining forensic science and pathology? There are some fascinating artefacts from infamous crimes, video installations, and historical documents and books with wonderful illustrations.

(Forensics – the anatomy of crime exhibition video v=6t2Yqdj7k4Q)

The Wellcome Collection exhibition at 183 Euston Road, London

Enticing posters outside the Euston Road exhibition space

This website is authored by Dr Richard Jones, a forensic pathologist in the UK.

Any views expressed by the author in this website are personal views.

The content is predominantly aimed at undergraduate level, rather than practicing forensic pathologists engaged in casework.

Requests for professional forensic pathology opinions may be directed to the Wales Institute of Forensic Medicine, Cardiff, Wales UK ( ).

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