AR Briefly

UAMS, Arkansas Crime Lab partner to offer forensic pathology fellowship

By: - July 10, 2023 4:15 pm
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. (Bryan Clifton for UAMS)

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. (Bryan Clifton for UAMS)

Physicians who have completed a residency program in anatomic or anatomic/clinical pathology can apply for a one-year fellowship in forensic pathology being offered through UAMS and the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.

The fellowship will start July 1, 2024, according to a Monday press release from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The program was recently accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). In addition to meeting the residency requirement, applicants must also be board-certified or board-eligible.

Fellows’ duties will include completing high-quality forensic autopsies so that Arkansans are provided expert opinions as to the cause and manner of death. Fellows also will have opportunities to investigate deaths at the death scene alongside coroners, teach medical students and residents, participate in state multiagency death review meetings, conduct research, and present at national forensic pathology conferences, said Dr. Theodore Brown, the state’s chief medical examiner and an associate professor of pathology at UAMS.

Dr. Theodore Brown, Arkansas chief medical examiner, UAMS associate professor of pathology
Dr. Theodore Brown, Arkansas chief medical examiner, UAMS associate professor of pathology (Courtesy of UAMS)

The partnership between UAMS and the Crime Lab offers fellowship participants an opportunity to complete autopsies by collaborating with coroners in all 75 Arkansas counties, Brown said.

“Fellows will work alongside seven forensic pathologists, including a board-certified neuropathologist,” said Brown, who is also the director of the fellowship program.

The Crime Lab, currently located at 3 Natural Resources Drive in Little Rock, will triple in size and relocate to Camp Robinson in North Little Rock by 2027, Brown said, thanks to the Legislature’s recent authorization of up to $200 million for construction of the new headquarters.

“Our office continues to become more involved with other agencies across the state that are working to best understand deaths that occur in Arkansas and how we can work with our community partners to prevent future deaths in Arkansas,” Brown said.

Dr. Teddi Tubre, an adjunct professor of pathology at UAMS, associate director of the fellowship program, and associate medical examiner and neuropathologist at the Crime Lab, said one way the Crime Lab hopes to prevent deaths in the community is by staying on top of trends in the use of novel illicit substances, including fentanyl and its analogs.

Another way forensic pathologists help the community is by being a part of review teams that seek to understand maternal and child deaths in Arkansas, serving to provide education to help prevent such deaths, Brown said.

Forensic pathologists at the Crime Lab are involved in the investigation of deaths that are sudden and/or unexpected, including natural causes, deaths by violent or traumatic means, or where circumstances surrounding the death indicate the presence of drugs or alcohol.

The fellowship program is now accepting applications for the 2024–25 academic year. There is currently no application deadline, but interested applicants should contact Brown at [email protected] or [email protected], or Tubre at [email protected].

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