Forensic Medicine Lecture at Medical College in Mitrovica

30 May 2015

On 30 May a lecture was organised for first year medical students in forensic medicine and anthropology. Tarja Formisto, Deputy Director of EULEX’s Department of Forensic Medicine (DFM), detailed the particularities of her work and how forensic medicine plays a role in the overall work of EULEX in Kosovo.

Over 150 medical students attended the lecture in a room that was full at every seat. The dean of the university opened the lecture and introduced Tarja Formisto and Masufumi Miyoshi, a journalist from the Japanese news outlet Yomiuri Shimbum, who was on a two day trip to report on the work of EULEX in Kosovo. The dean, several professors, and students present welcomed the opportunity to have an expert such as Tarja share her experience and insight. Tarja tailored her lecture to first year medical students and alongside a visual presentation, brought visual props for the students to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the work of an anthropologist. Her lecture centred on nuanced topics such as determining the gender, age, and condition of a deceased body by analysing bones and bone fragments. She thoroughly explained the process that takes place at every excavation and examination how varied it can be depending on the conditions and geolocation of the site. Tarja explained the importance of cleaning bones and the extensive experience that is required to determine what kind of bone has been found and whether that bone is one of a human or an animal. Tarja continued to explain that in every post conflict region where excavations take place an expert such as her is needed to determine essential identification aspects that allow an investigation to proceed.

Following the lecture, the students engaged in a discussion focused on the details of forensics and anthropology as they pondered their future academic studies and careers that would follow. This was the last student lecture for this school year with exams and summer break approaching in the following weeks. However, the lecture provided grounds for a verbal commitment from the university and DFM to continue this sort of collaboration the following school year.