The International Association of Clinical Forensic Medicine (IACFM)(formally the World Police Medical Officers (WPMO)) was established in 1984. It arose prior to the First World Meeting of Police Surgeons or Police Examiners hosted by the late Dr Bill Eckert, a prominent American forensic pathologist who recognised the value and contribution of British police surgeons to the field of forensic medicine. This meeting was held in Wichita, Kansas, in August 1987. It was held under the WPMO presidency of Dr Ivor Doney from Bristol, an active member of the Association of Police Surgeons (APS), who was supported in this venture by the APS’s president and several members. Subsequent conferences came to be held in association with the triennial meeting of the International Association of Forensic Sciences.

IACFM represents Clinical Forensic Medicine and, in keeping with the increasing recognition of the discipline, saw the transformation of WPMO into the International Association of Clinical Forensic Medicine (IACFM) at the IAFS meeting in Toronto in 2017. The current President of IACFM is Associate Professor John Gall, a forensic physician in Melbourne, Australia.

Past Presidents


Year Name Country
1984-1987 Dr Ivor E Doney United Kingdom
1987-1990 Dr WJ (Bill) Treadwell New Zealand
1990-1993 Dr Myles DB Clarke United Kingdom
1993-1996 Prof Shigeyuki Tsunenari Japan
1996-1999 Prof JAJ (Rex) Ferris Canada
1999-2002 Dr WP (Bill) Ryan Australia
2002-2005 Dr David McLay United Kingdom
2005-2008 Dr Philip Beh Hong Kong
2008-2011 Prof Duarte Nuno Vieira Portugal
2011-2014 Dr Jason Payne-James United Kingdom

What is Clinical Forensic Medicine?

The practice of clinical forensic medicine (CFM) varies not only between different countries but also between jurisdictions within those countries. CFM encompasses the provision of forensic medical services, including the provision of health care, primarily to the living and the collection and interpretation of information for the purpose of civil and criminal law, the judiciary and the police. It is that branch of medicine that deals with both medical and legal aspects of patient care.

Specific areas include:–

  • examination and treatment of alleged victims and perpetrators in the investigation of crimes against the person, evidence collection and the documentation and interpretation of injuries. This includes physical and sexual assault, domestic violence and all aspects of child abuse and neglect.
  • attendance at crime and death scenes and the provision of advice to investigators regarding medical aspects of a particular case
  • examination and treatment of police detainees, prisoner health, evidentiary examinations and evidence collection
  • assessment of fitness for interview by police
  • assessment of fitness to appear before the courts
  • assessment and medico-legal opinions relating to traffic medicine including injury interpretation, drug and alcohol effects, medical causes contributing to crash causation and medical fitness to drive
  • assessment and expert opinions regarding the clinical effects and toxicology of drugs and alcohol
  • mental health assessments and opinions
  • expert opinions regarding medical issues of the legal system including criminal prosecutions, coronial investigations, medical board investigations and civil litigation
  • expert opinions in relation to insurance matters
  • determination of the cause of death
  • preparation of medico-legal reports
  • presentation of expert evidence in court/tribunals.