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Division Director: Gregory Davis, M.D.

Overview

The Jefferson County Coroner/Medical Examiner Office provides death investigation for Jefferson County, Alabama, including Birmingham, the state’s largest city. The pathologists in the office are full faculty in the Forensic Division of the Department of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This arrangement has served Jefferson County well since 1980. The Office is accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners.

Jefferson County has a population of 659,000. The office examines some 950 bodies annually, including approximately 150 homicides and 450 accidental deaths. In-house investigators conduct scene investigations on roughly 2/3 of its cases, particularly in homicidal, accidental, and suicidal deaths where the body remains at the scene. The office routinely obtains medical and police records on its cases. The office maintains a database of its work that allows searches to aid in work, public health initiatives, and research. In addition, toxicological testing is provided in-house by the UAB Department of Pathology's Forensic Toxicology Section, providing analytical results in a few days to a few weeks, depending on the substance detected.

The pathologists in the Forensic Division are active in clinical service work, teaching, and research. They also serve in important positions within various scientific organizations, including the National Association of Medical Examiners, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and the American Board of Pathology. They provide editorial reviews for the Journal of Forensic Sciences and Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology. These affiliations create an extensive network for the office to contribute to and draw upon.|

Our Faculty

Gregory Davis, MD, MSPH, Professor and Division Director

Daniel Atherton, MD, Associate Professor, Forensic Pathology

Daniel Dye, MD, Associate Professor, Forensic Pathology

Brandi McCleskey, MD, Assistant Professor, Forensic Pathology

 

Community Involvement and Faculty Engagement

The Jefferson County Coroner’s/Medical Examiner’s Office regularly interacts with outside entities including local law enforcement agencies, the Jefferson County and Bessemer District Attorney’s Offices, various public health organizations (both locally and nationally), and its affiliated teaching hospital, UAB.

The fundamental aspect of forensic pathologists’ (FPs) duties is determining cause and manner of death by postmortem examination. Often that’s where the work just begins. FPs at our Office spend significant time talking to families (both by telephone and in-person) about how their loved ones died, talking to clinicians about findings that may interest them or inform future patient care, and discussing homicide findings with law enforcement and attorneys.

Pathologists in the Forensic Division present at clinical medical conferences including Morbidity and Mortality conferences at UAB and also at Children’s of Alabama. They also provide regular representation at local and state level groups like Alabama’s Child Death Review Team.

At the JCCMEO, FPs conduct research and provide service at a national level as a natural part of their duties. Opportunities for collaboration abound, including collaborations with UAB-based clinicians, with national organizations like the Epilepsy Foundation, and with national government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and National Institute of Justice. Members of the Division of Forensic Pathology regularly attend and present their research at national meetings like the National Association of Medical Examiners and American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual meetings, and they then publish their work in forensic and other peer-reviewed journals.

Fellowship Training

The Pathology Department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the Jefferson County Coroner/Medical Examiner Office offer a one year accredited fellowship training program in forensic pathology. The office draws its caseload from Jefferson County, which includes the city of Birmingham, and has a population base of approximately 662,000. The office annually examines approximately 950 bodies including approximately 150 homicides and 450 accidental deaths. Complete scene investigations are routinely conducted by in-house investigators of homicidal, accidental, and suicidal deaths. All medical and police records are routinely obtained. The fellow acts as a functioning forensic pathologist and is responsible, under supervision by staff pathologists, for scene investigations, complete postmortem examinations, protocol preparations, conferences with interested parties, and actual court testimony. Consultation in all medical specialties is readily available if needed, as are opportunities for teaching. Two crime laboratories (representing two jurisdictions) serve the metropolitan area. The medical examiner office is well staffed and equipped, including complete photographic and radiography facilities and digitization of all records. The database makes research feasible, and research with presentation at a national scientific meeting is encouraged. In addition, toxicological testing is provided in-house by the UAB Department of Pathology's Forensic Toxicology Section. Opportunities for collaboration on research projects with faculty in the Toxicology Division are also available.

To apply for fellowship

Submit application along with curriculum vitae and three letters of recommendation, including one from current program director to: path-fellowships@uabmc.edu.

Requirements include successful completion of accredited pathology residency program in AP or AP/CP

Featured

Daniel Dye, MD and Brandi McCleskey, MD featured on UAB 50th Memories Podcast https://soundcloud.com/user-523565400/uab-memories-daniel-dye-brandi-mcclesky 

Gregory Davis, MD and Rachel Gill (UAB Masters in Forensic Science alumna) featured on UAB 50th Memories Podcast

https://soundcloud.com/user-523565400/uab-memory-greg-davis-rachel-gill

Gregory Davis, MD co-authored Letter to the Editor on Risk of COVID-19 Transmission During Autopsy published in Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (open-access PDF)

Brandi McCleskey, MD presented training session on Sudden Unexplained Pediatric Deaths for the Alabama Department of Public Health 

Social Media

Follow Dr. McCleskey on Twitter and LinkedIn