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.”
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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