UH Med Now

First-of-its-kind FORENSICS class underway in University of Hawaiʻi medical school Anatomy Lab

Date: July 28th, 2017 in External News, Faculty, JABSOM News, Research    Print or PDF

Pictured: A mock crime scene, part of the Forensics course. Jesse Thompson photo.

By Tina Shelton, JABSOM Communications Director

The University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine and the UH Mānoa Outreach College collaborated to create a first-of-its-kind Forensics Workshop in July 2017. JABSOM Adjunct Professor of Anatomy Dr. Robert Mann explains the multidisciplinary nature of investigating crime scenes and examining skeletal remains, which students did as part of the course based at JABSOM and also utilizing the campus of the UH West Oʻahu.

“This is the first of its kind, the first on island, the first medical school has done where we are pulling together forensic anthropology and forensic medicine,” said Dr. Bob Mann, Adjunct Anatomy Professor. “There are crime scene investigators too, and they’re not medical doctors, they’re not anatomists. We will take them from the ground level, if they have never seen or held a bone, they’ve never analyzed a skeleton, we will take them in here and say, we work as a team. We have a team leader, we will teach them to work as a team, that they are part of a team. If they have a question and I will answer them but for the most part this team concept is very important. You are going to work as a team because you are never going to work a crime scene by yourself. So learn to work as a team, and they have to examine the skeleton in its entirety, everything they can record they have to do, they have to photograph, they have to measure it.”

Watch our video interview with Dr. Mann in the anatomy lab:



Mann said the students can discuss everything together but after their conclusions are reached, one person each is assigned to report about the findings covering ancestry, sex, stature, trauma or other data collected.

“Some people say, ‘oh I don’t want to speak in public,’ but we say you have to do this if you are really going to freak out, you can step aside and that’s okay but part of the forensic field is you are going to have to testify in court. So this is forensic anatomy from A to Z, start to finish,” Mann said.

UH Med Now photos from the 2018 summer class by Deborah Manog Dimaya:

Forensics Course 2018

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