SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. – During the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) annual business meeting in October located in Kansas City, MO, Spokane County Medical Examiner, Dr. Sally Aiken was elected by a vote of the general membership to assume the role of President of the organization for a one-year term in 2020.
The National Association of Medical Examiners was founded in 1966 and is the premier professional organization for medical examiners, forensic pathologists, medicolegal affiliates and administrators. The organization provides leadership and advocacy for best practices in forensic pathology and death investigation, and develops and promulgates forensic autopsy standards. NAME accredits medical examiner offices that currently serve about 60% of the population of the United States. NAME also provides continuing education programs to its members. NAME has more than 1,300 members, including nearly 600 board-certified forensic pathologists.
Dr. Aiken is the 6th woman to be elected president in the 53-year history of NAME. She currently serves as Vice President of the organization. As President she will direct all the activities of the nearly 30 NAME Committees, which range from government affairs, to education. Since the Medical Examiner workforce is experiencing a critical shortage of forensic pathologists, NAME is working on several initiatives to increase the number of board-certified forensic pathologists. The federal government is beginning to assist in this effort because of the importance of forensic pathologists is public health and the criminal justice system.
Commenting on this new role, Dr. Aiken stated, “It was an honor to be elected and trusted by my peers to serve as president of our organization in 2020. I look forward to working with my peers across the Country on the recruitment of physicians into the field of forensic pathology, and retention of practicing forensic pathologists in this difficult, and sometimes controversial profession.”
Dr. Aiken has been employed as a Medical Examiner in Spokane for nearly 20 years. She has performed more than 8,000 autopsies, and testified in court hundreds of times. She is a board-certified Forensic Pathologist who graduated from the UW Medical School and did forensic pathology training in King County.