William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

A Forensic Library

So, you want to know about forensic sciences? You want to know what books are on the shelf of a forensic pathologist? I just reorganized the books in my office. One shelf is the forensics shelf. I teach forensic pathology as well as having a consulting practice, and these are the technical, reference books that I have ready to hand. There are others, certainly, but these are the ones I happen to like.

Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease. The standard pathology textbook, I use in teaching medical school and for work.
Sternberg’s Diagnostic Surgical Pathology A good general reference for tumor and other pathology.
The Merck Manual. For clinical medicine questions
Adelson’s The Pathology of Homicide. Mine I got autographed by Lester Adelson, it’s an amazing monograph written by one man.
David Dolinak’s Forensic Pathology Principles and Practice. I used this as my lecture textbook this year, and will probably use it again, It’s current, and I went to residency with Dave. It’s a very good reference.
DiMaio’s Gunshot Wounds. This is one volume of DiMaio’s two volume book on forensic pathology, he just took all the gunshot wound material and put it here. My other volume of his Forensic Pathology I lent to someone and they never brought it back, and I haven’t bothered to replace it, it has been missing since…2006 I think.
Spitz and Fisher’s The Medicolegal Investigation of Death. I have the third edition. I didn’t care for the fourth edition.
Knight’s Forensic Pathology. I have the second edition. Again, I didn’t care much for the third edition. This is written by a British author, and has a little different perspective on things.
The CAP Handbook of Forensic Pathology
Baselt’s The Disposition of Drugs and Toxic Chemicals in Man. For finding out if the drugs killed him or not.

There are others, of course. Some are old and out-of print. All books have their strengths and weaknesses. Knight, for some reason has a bee in his bonnet about neck compression leading to sudden death, which it seems stems from a case he saw during WWII. DiMaio is very interested in the patterns of wounding with firearms.

I have the library keep a book on reserve, and I hope my students share their books or buy them used. Forensic books have a tendency to be in colour and have small print runs, both of which drive up the cost of books. I hate asking a student who doesn’t have a job to plunk down $300 for a book that they probably won’t open again after the semester is over.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: