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Book and Media Reviews
August 9, 2006

Forensic Pathology

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;296(6):704-709. doi:10.1001/jama.296.6.707

Despite the current explosion of television shows and publications in forensics generally and in forensic medicine specifically, Stefan Timmermans, PhD, has managed to produce a unique contribution. Postmortem is not written out of a macabre and voyeuristic fascination with death or the intellectual stimulation of a whodunit. Instead, the author, who is professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, asks, as a sociologist, why forensic pathologists do what they do and why their work is given legitimacy by society. To answer these questions, Timmermans spent three years observing the inner workings of a medical examiner's office. The result is a stunningly perceptive, insightful, and revealing view of the profession.

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