AAFS Continuing Education Needs Identified


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Attendees of the 68th Annual Scientific Meeting in Las Vegas, NV, were asked to identify any continuing education needs they would like to see addressed at future meetings. The following list of topics was suggested:

  • Profiling terrorists (skills development)
  • Critical incident debriefing (skills development)
  • Assessing custody cases (skills development)
  • Assessing sexual deviance (skills development)
  • Latest evidence-based assessments
  • Quality assurance and peer review of forensic autopsies
  • More forensic pathology/law crossover
  • More Jay Dix presentations
  • Challenges of second autopsies
  • NGS in practice – cost-benefit of joint Pathology/Biology and Anthropology session
  • Response to public health emergencies (Ebola/Zika)
  • Mass fatality response
  • Response to fatality in a HAZMAT situation
  • OSAC updates
  • Report writing and testimony skills
  • New government-sponsored forensic programs
  • Move on postmortem autopsy toxicology
  • Designer drugs
  • Gunshot wounds
  • Shotgun wounds
  • Police custody
  • Police shootings
  • Paraphilic disorders
  • Child abuse trauma that are issues in court
  • More presentations from death investigators
  • Strategies for minimizing cognitive bias while using historical information necessary for accuracy of analysis
  • Trace evidence/DNA collection for medical examiners
  • Herbal medicines or diets which may prove fatal/dangerous
  • Radiology and pathology/biology would be very interesting
  • Police/custody deaths
  • More about changes in DNA technology capability in crime scene investigation
  • Instrument troubleshooting ideas, method development tips and tricks – updates to technical documents
  • Prison health care and cause of death in long-term incarceration
  • Workshop on how to find grants, etc.
  • New and developing trends in illicit drug use
  • Head injuries
  • Media training, the business needs of private practitioners/consultants
  • More digital/multimedia
  • Threat assessment assessing and dealing with scientific uncertainty in psychological autopsy
  • Statistical methods and data-missing topics
  • Incorporation of ancillary services (i.e., anthropology into ME practice – need for funding, what the anthropologist can carry to the office)
  • Methods for detecting SUIDED
  • Toxicology testing
  • Update of governmental oversight of forensic science
  • Pediatric sexual abuse
  • Human trafficking/modern slavery
  • Postmortem cultures and interpreting results
  • Suicide prevention/intervention efforts
  • Elderly abuse/neglect
  • This year lacked any forensic Gramire causes related to assault, rape, and abuse.
  • Accelerant analysis and ion mobility research
  • Continuing information on designer drugs: geriatric deaths – include toxicology, pathology, legal implications
  • Identifying future paradigm shifts in forensic science
  • Laboratory software systems and capabilities
  • Digital aspects of forensic odontology
  • Bitemark cases -– more legal aspects of convicting an assailant accused of biting a victim
  • Bitemarks
  • Digital analysis incorporated into forensic odontology
  • Experiments or cutting-edge use of DNA analysis (i.e., spent shell casings, use of databases – DNA, fingerprint, and firearms to understand protocols, limitations, and intec-operability of these different resources for solving crime)
  • Mass disasters management of related humanitarian needs
  • Mass diseases response training
  • Multidiscipline tracking of topics involving animals and livestock
  • The use of SNPs to generate phenotypic traits triple X kits that can be substituted for fraudulent STR kits.
  • Implementation of new technology as well as how to introduce this technology into backlogged labs that have little money
  • FORDISC® use
  • More medicolegal death scene investigation topics
  • Infant death investigation – case studies as well as investigative techniques
  • A workshop to provide guidance in how to work with a multidisciplinary team and how to “teach” each other about the needs between agencies—what does the ME’s office need from the coroner (what do the ME and the coroner need from law enforcement, etc.)
  • How to avoid “turf wars” and get information to each other. Basically, best-practice teamwork investigations
  • How to write/submit a research paper or publish in a scientific journal
  • A presentation on the use of the ABFO ruler (how and what its uses are)
  • A grant-writing seminar directed at students wanting to pursue a PhD
  • Accreditation and certification in specific disciplines
  • More on digital/audio