History of Forensic Medicine in Turkey and History of Our Department of Forensic Medicine
Although there are legal texts concerning medicine in the Seljuk and Ottoman period, forensic medicine literally started with the establishment of the Mektebi Tıbbiye-i Şahane in the last periods of the Ottoman Empire. Following the establishment of the School of Medicine; Dr. Charles Ambroise Bernard from Vienna, Austria started to teach Forensic Medicine courses, for the first time in 1841 under the name of "Tibb-i Kanuni". Upon Dr. Bernard’s insistence, Sultan II. Abdülmecit allowed cadaver dissection in 1843. The first autopsy was performed on the corpse of a worker who died by falling a pole toonhis head.
Following the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, forensic medicine was structured in universities as Forensic Medicine Departments and The Council of Forensic Medicine affiliated to the Ministry of Justice. In recent years, forensic medicine specialists have been assigned to forensic medicine units and Child Monitoring Centers of the hospitals affiliated to the Ministry of Health.
Kocaeli University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Forensic Medicine
The Department of Forensic Medicine is one of the first departments of our Faculty of Medicine. The Department was established as a result of the appointment of Dr. Başar Çolak on 30.01.1996. In 1997, Dr. Ümit Biçer and Dr. Ümit Naci Gündoğmuş, in 2001, Dr. Ömer Kurtaş has been appointed as an assistant professor. In 2011, Associate Professor Dr. Ümit Naci Gündoğmuş was appointed to İstanbul University, Forensic Medicine Institute and left our Department. Having been the Head of the Department for many years, Prof. Dr. Ümit Biçer left our Department on 01.09.2016. Prof. Dr. Rıza Yılmaz was appointed from Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University to our university in 2019. Currently, 3 faculty members, including 2 professors and 1 associate professor, 10 research assistants and 2 personnels work in our Forensic Medicine Department. Since its establishment in 1996, many specialists have been trained and these specialists work as forensic medicine specialists in The Council of Forensic Medicine and as lecturers in the Forensic Medicine Departments of various universities.
Under the leadership of our department, Kocaeli UniversityChildren’s Advocacy Center was established in 2010. Our faculty members have held various positions at our University, such as the Directorate of Health Sciences Institute, Department of Health, Culture and Sports, Deputy Chief Physician, Central Directorate, Ethics Committee Membership, Health Board Membership, Memberhip of Faculty Board and Faculty Executive Board, and Member of the Senate.
Faculty members in our department have started to teach their first courses in our Faculty of Law, and they still carry out their education and training studies at the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry, Faculty of Law and Vocational School of Justice. In the past, they gave lectures at the Fire Fighting Vocational School and Child Protection non-thesis master's programs.
Our Department Today
The Forensic Medicine Department is located on the 4th floor of the Faculty of Medicine Dean's Building located in Kocaeli University Umuttepe Campus. Clinical service is provided on the 2nd floor of the polyclinic building. In addition to education and training activities in our department, scientific studies and polyclinic services are also continued.
Our missions are; to work on bringing Forensic Medicine services in line with international standards in Turkey, to carry out training studies on the improvement of forensic medicine services at the expert level, as well as primary forensic medicine services and as a result of these studies, to serve the expert system at a higher standard day by day and to ensure that the students of the Faculty of Medicine have competence in basic forensic medicine services.
Our vision is to educate students at least minimum standards on basic forensic medicine services in our country as well as in the world andto increase the education of residents in the Department of Forensic Medicine to the level of international development. It is also to be a pioneer in forensic medicine services and to provide impartial expertise by issuing reasoned reports.
Education; These can be listed as pre-graduate education, resident training, national and international symposiums, congresses, and meetings attended by residents and specialists.
Forensic medicine internship is given for 2 weeks in 8 groups for 5th grade students of Kocaeli University Faculty of Medicine. In addition, forensic medicine courses are given to the 3rd and 6th grade students.Within the scope of the internship, there is a theoretical and practical course program. For the autopsy process, students are provided to participate in the autopsy procedures at the Council of Forensic Medicine by going to Istanbul with the vehicles provided by the Rectorate. Also forensic medicine courses are given to the students of Kocaeli University Faculty of Dentistry, Kocaeli University Faculty of Law and Vocational School of Justice.
2-Resident Training Program
Our residents go to rotations for education in addition to the curriculum of the department.In addition to the trainings for forensic psychiatric evaluation, rotations are carried out on Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In the Forensic Medicine Institute, macroscopic and microscopic training for autopsy is received for a period of 6 months.At the end of the resident training, the thesis required to become a specialist is done under the supervision of one of the faculty members of the Department.
3-Symposiums and Congresses
Residents and faculty members participate and/or organize forensic medicine congresses and symposiums held at national and international level. In addition, theyparticipate in congresses and symposiums held in the field of forensic sciences.
Forensic Medicine Services
Our Department; provides expert witness service by accepting personal and institutional applications on forensic medical issues such as forensic traumatology, disability, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, elder abuse, medical malpractice, sexual abuse, signature and document examination. Also our department provides forensic medical counseling and consultation services in the evaluation of patients coming to other departments.
• Professor.Dr. Başar ÇOLAK (Head of the Department)