Forensic Medical Examinations
As part of CornerHouse Interagency Child Abuse Evaluation and Training Center’s commitment to improving the assessment and investigation of child abuse, specifically in those cases involving sexual abuse, a recommendation for the child to receive a medical examination may be made.
- Physicians from medical facilities in Hennepin County (Minnesota), who specialize in the field of pediatrics, conduct non-acute forensic medical examinations on-site at CornerHouse.*
- CornerHouse medical examinations are completed in a manner that is child oriented and considerate of the child’s needs.
- The room in which the examinations take place has been designed to be less threatening to a child than the typical examination room found in hospitals.
- A CornerHouse staff member assists the physician in helping the child feel as comfortable as possible by engaging the child before, during and after the medical exam.
- Physicians conducting the medical examinations and may be called to testify on the findings and can lend credibility to a child abuse investigation even when the exam findings are determined to be normal.
- Regardless of the investigative value of the medical examination, the real value may come in being able to reassure a child that his or her body is okay.
*Dr. Linda Thompson is a board-certified pediatrician with more than 15 years experience evaluating children who have been physically or sexually abused. She has been associated with CornerHouse since its opening in 1989, and also practices at Hennepin County Medical Center. She teaches medical students and residents about child abuse and also participates in CornerHouse training sessions.