Program Details

Bill Smock, MD, MS, FACEP, FAAEM, in partnership with Galen Center for Professional Development, has created the world’s first clinical forensic gunshot wound training program.


This program is for law enforcement officers, forensic nurses, emergency medicine and trauma physicians and prosecutors who wish to:

  • Understand the importance of recognizing and preserving evidence on ER patients.
  • Learn to determine entrance and exit wounds and their range of fire.
  • Understand wound ballistics and wounding patterns.
  • Get a broad base of forensic knowledge.
  • Understand forensic nursing, the science that deals with the relation and application of medical facts to legal issues in living victims.
  • Learn the latest techniques for investigating officer-involved shootings.

Self-Directed Online Course (24 hours of study)

Gunshot X-ray

The online course was developed by Dr. Smock utilizing resources within the Online Course Development (OCD) department of Galen College of Nursing.

Unlike many other educational institutions, Galen develops its own online courses incorporating state-of-the-art media and visual effects to offer advanced educational courses designed specifically for the effective transfer of learning in the online medium. This has allowed Dr. Smock to offer his forensic learning materials, gathered from years of experience with many specific case studies, using some of the best online learning techniques available. Galen is experienced in developing medical oriented course materials, which makes this combination of subject matter expertise and plus online educational experiences well-suited for delivering forensic learning materials that cover the topics noted above.

The online course is divided into 25 modules and allows the participant to work at their own pace. The system will bookmark where you left on and allow you to continue onward, or return to a previous module if you wish.

Self-Directed Online Module Units of Study:

Course Welcome and Overview

The History & Application of Clinical Forensic Medicine & Nursing

  • Lesson 2:  The History of Clinical Forensic Medicine
  • Lesson 3:  Case Study – Gunshot Wound to the Upper Chest
  • Lesson 4:  Case Study – A Murder in Boston
  • Lesson 5:  Forensic Issues of Modern Gun Violence


  • Lesson 6: Introduction to Handgun Ammunition
  • Lesson 7: The Physical Characteristics of Gunshot Wounds – Part 1
  • Lesson 8: The Physical Characteristics of Gunshot Wounds – Part 2
  • Lesson 9: Contact Wounds
  • Lesson 10: Exit and Graze Wounds
  • Lesson 11: Handgun Case Studies
  • Lesson 12: Handgun Case Studies: Pseudo-tattooing

Evidence Collection

  • Lesson 13: Bullet Evidence
  • Lesson 14: Clothing Evidence
  • Lesson 15: Primer Residue
  • Lesson 16: Forensic Photography
  • Lesson 17: Radiographs and Bullet Track

Shotgun & Rifles

  • Lesson 18: Introduction to Shotguns
  • Lesson 19: Shotgun Injuries
  • Lesson 20: Less Lethal
  • Lesson 21: Rifles

Officer Involved Shootings

  • Lesson 22: Office Involved Shootings – Part 1
  • Lesson 23: Officer Involved Shootings – Part 2
  • Lesson 24: Off-Duty Shootings
  • Lesson 25: Final Review
  • Final Examination:  50 multiple choice questions

2-Day Lab Practicum

Trajectory Determination
(held at Galen College of Nursing’s State of the art River Green High Fidelity Simulation Center in Louisville, Kentucky. View the campus on Google Maps here.)
Classes will cover a variety of topics including:

  • Evidence recognition, collection and preservation protocols
  • Wound documentation
  • Wound photography
  • Shell casing and bullet comparisons
  • Trajectory determination
  • Range of fire determination and testing
  • Wound reconstruction
  • Entrance versus exit evaluation
  • Gunshot wounds in domestic violence
  • Investigation and reconstruction of officer-involved shootings

Practicum Course Outline:

8:00 AM – 8:20 AM
Welcome, introductions, review of course goals and objectives.
8:20 AM – 8:50 AM
Review of entrance vs exit, range-of-fire and trajectory determination.
8:50 AM – 9:00 AM
9:00 AM – 9:50 AM
Intro to forensic crime lab, role of firearms examiner, comparison microscope and evidence collection procedures.
9:50 AM – 10:00 AM
10:00 AM – 10:50 AM
Handgun, rifle and shotgun: weapons, projectile and shell casing comparisons.
11:00 AM – 11:50 AM
Range-of-fire testing: Modified Griess Test and Sodium Rhodizonate Test, Firearm residue testing: Nitric acid swabs and scanning electron microscopy.
11:50 AM – 12:30 PM
Lunch (box lunch provided at Galen training center)
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Transport to Range (local range)
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Handgun, Rifle and Shotgun Range-of-fire testing on targets. Evidence collection practical: clothing, projectiles and cartridge case.
4:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Transport from Range to Galen
5:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Review of Day 1, questions, Prep for Day 2.
8:00 AM – 8:20 AM
Welcome, introductions, review of course goals and objectives.
8:20 AM – 8:50 AM
Evaluation of evidence collection from range and submission of evidence to crime lab for range of fire testing, projectile and cartridge case comparison.
8:50 AM – 9:00 AM
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Range-of-fire testing on evidence submitted by students: Modified Griess Test and Sodium Rhodizonate Test (hooded area) and tattooing pattern on “skin.”
10:30 AM – 10:40 AM
10:40 AM – 11:00 AM
Briefing for practical scenarios: Break into three (3) groups.
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Group Practical Scenarios
12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Lunch (lunch box provided at Galen training center)
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Group Practical Scenarios
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Group Practical Scenarios
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Review of Scenarios (film of actual events and compare to findings and opinions of each group)
5:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Graduation and presentation of certificates