President's Welcome

Dear Colleagues and Visitors to the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) website,

It is truly an honor to serve as your NAME President for 2024. I have been a NAME member for over two decades and it means a great to deal to me to have been chosen to lead this organization with your support. I am incredibly fortunate to be working with a very talented and dedicated Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

As an organization, we have a number of important priorities before us:

Workforce remains a very important issue, and one that we must continue to address. The Workforce Development Subcommittee of the Strategic Planning Committee and the Ad hoc Data Committee worked very hard last year on a study that found that there are fewer than 800 full-time forensic pathologists in the nation, thereby confirming that we still have a long way to go to fill the gap. Enhancing the public image of forensic pathology and medicolegal death investigation will be key in continuing to address this challenge.

We will continue to work on implementing the Strategic Plan developed in 2022. The Executive Committee will rely heavily on our new Executive Vice President, MJ Menendez, to effect these changes, and I am excited to work with her. The strategic plan is far-reaching with a wide scope, and will take several years to implement; we will ensure that the appropriate time and resources are applied toward fulfilling those goals.

Last year, a number of state legislatures proposed and/or passed legislation that encroached on the practice and independence of medical examiners. We will closely monitor legislative activities for other such legislation throughout the country.

We are a very small profession, making it all the more important that all of our voices are heard. To that end, I am committed to transitioning NAME to a hybrid Annual Meeting that is conducted both in person and virtually. As our work never pauses, by definition, all of us cannot attend in person; some must stay behind and continue the work. But beyond the educational component of the meeting, important decisions are made at the Annual Business Meeting and I believe that ALL voting members should be able to participate in the discussions and decision-making process; everyone’s voice should count—not just those who can attend in person. I hope to enable some, if not most, of these changes for this year’s Annual Meeting.

NAME is an organization that operates through the volunteered commitment of its members. I thank you for your membership and participation and I look forward to a productive year for NAME!

J. Keith Pinckard, MD PhD
NAME President 2024