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Dean Named to Prestigious Vidocq Society


November 10, 2020
Dean and professor Gregory McDonald, DO, wears a blue suit and smiles in one of PCOM's hallways.
Gregory McDonald, DO, crouches on top of a stone wall outside of Eastern State Penitentiary.
Dr. Greg McDonald, wears a sweater, scarf and jacket as he smiles outside of a Philadephia historic site.

Greg McDonald, DO '89, dean, was recently accepted to the Vidocq Society which aims to solve cold cases.


This summer, Gregory McDonald, DO ’89, dean, school of health sciences and chair of the forensic medicine program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine was named to the internationally-renowned Vidocq Society. The Vidocq Society brings together forensic experts from all over the world to assist law enforcement agencies with cases that have gone unsolved, also known as cold cases. At the heart of the Society is the belief that even the most experienced investigator can benefit from another professional’s opinion and that each member brings with them a wealth of life experience that may serve to be helpful in a cold case.

In addition to his role at PCOM, Dr. McDonald serves as the chief-deputy coroner for Montgomery County and has completed more than 8,000 autopsies. Like other members of the Society, Dr. McDonald hopes to gain insight from, and share his personal insight with, the Society. “We all have cold cases, cases that we could never quite solve,” shared Dr. McDonald of his experience working in forensic investigation. “These cases are like an itch you can’t scratch, but if I can help someone else solve their cold case and scratch that itch, I will. I may look at something and based on my life experience see something that a previous investigator may not have noticed.”

The Society was named for Eugène François Vidocq (1775-1857), a French detective who is considered by many to be the first modern detective. Founded in Philadelphia in 1990, the Society has grown from a regional organization to one that is now internationally recognized by governing bodies of law enforcement. The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice named the Vidocq Society as a source in a recent publication titled “National Best Practices for Implementing and Sustaining a Cold Case Investigation Unit.”

To be accepted into the society, Dr. McDonald was required to submit his curriculum vitae, explain in writing why he should be a part of the society and gain the support and recommendation of two existing fellows of the Society. Today, the Society exists of 82 core members, as well as countless “Special members.”

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