By Kevin G. Shanks, M.S., D-ABFT-FT
Axis Forensic Toxicology prides itself in its ability and willingness to provide continuing education and training for our forensic toxicology clients. One of these educational avenues is the Axis forensic medicine fellow training rotation program.
In this weeklong virtual training program, a Forensic Medicine Fellow will be introduced to the set-up and operation of the modern postmortem forensic toxicology laboratory, alongside descriptions of the analytical instrumentation and analytical methods employed by the laboratory. Board certified forensic toxicologists will discuss the importance of toxicology specimen collection and present a survey of the major illicit and pharmaceutical drugs (e.g. ethanol, cocaine, methamphetamine, MDMA, heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioids) with respect to mechanisms of actions, their detection, and their relevance to cause of death determination. Novel psychoactive substances (NPS), to include designer benzodiazepines, synthetic cannabinoids, substituted cathinones, fentanyl analogs, nitazene derivatives, xylazine, and mitragynine (kratom) are also discussed in depth.
The forensic toxicology forensic medicine fellow training rotation instills the Fellow with confidence in interpreting the significance of toxicological findings with respect to cause and manner of death classification. Peer reviewed scientific references provided to the Fellow lay a foundation for a body of knowledge that may aid in the resolution of drug-related deaths by the forensic pathologist. One-on-one toxicology case review with a forensic toxicologist surveying completed cases by the laboratory will be undertaken and is intended to give the Fellow an overview of how a “toxicology pending conference” is conducted between forensic pathologists and forensic toxicologists.
If you are a forensic pathology fellow or a pathologist who directs forensic pathology fellows and are interested in learning more about this training opportunity, please reach out to Axis Forensic Toxicology’s toxicologists at [email protected] or call us on the phone at (317) 759 – 4869, Option 1.