The 10 Best Forensic Medicine Textbooks

video play icon 10 Best Forensic Medicine Textbooks

This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in July of 2018. Forensic medicine is not for the faint of heart -- professionals in the field are responsible for performing accurate autopsies and investigating suspicious, and sometimes gruesome, deaths. If you’re looking to work in this area or are fascinated by postmortems, you’ll gain a solid grounding from one of the textbooks on our list, all of which offer in-depth information and instructive visuals. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Spitz and Fisher's Medicolegal Investigation of Death

2. Color Atlas of Forensic Medicine and Pathology

3. Forensic Pathology 2nd Edition

Editor's Notes

April 02, 2020:

Forensic medicine covers a lot of ground and incorporates a multitude of sub-disciplines, so textbooks on the subject must be rigorous and detailed whether niche or complete. They need to be visual, easy to read, free of unnecessary jargon, and filled with helpful case studies and up to date data. We also wanted books that would help legal professionals and law enforcement, as well as supplement medical textbooks for future nurses and doctors.

Our selection was curated with this criterion in mind, with comprehensive references like Spitz and Fisher's Medicolegal Investigation of Death, books for the layperson, such as Death Investigation: An Introduction, and tomes meant for professionals in the field like Gunshot Wounds and Clinical Forensic Medicine. Outside of that, you'll also find handy supplements perfect for expanding your working knowledge, like The Color Atlas of Forensic Medicine and Pathology and Estimation of the Time Since Death.

Our latest update saw the removal of Fundamentals and Perspectives, which, despite being an informative and well-rounded text, has a lot of crossover with the more up-to-date Clinical Forensic Medicine. We filled the vacancy with another ultra-comprehensive addition, The Handbook of Forensic Medicine. This 1,000-plus page volume takes a holistic approach and covers diverse aspects of forensic medicine to paint an extremely inclusive picture for the serious student.

As of the writing of this note, all selections have been updated to their most current iterations.

Special Honors

The National Association of Medical Examiners The National Association of Medical Examiners, also known as NAME, was founded in 1966 and is the premier professional organization for medical examiners, forensic pathologists, and medicolegal affiliates and administrators. Members benefit from a wealth of resources, such as an online subscription to the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, committee participation, information on developing autopsy standards and ongoing research, and much more. thename.org

4. Clinical Forensic Medicine

5. Gunshot Wounds

6. Handbook of Forensic Medicine

7. Simpson's Forensic Medicine

8. Knight's Forensic Pathology

9. Estimation of the Time Since Death

10. Death Investigation: An Introduction


Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated on April 09, 2020 by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.