The Department of Forensic Medicine was established in September in 1948 as a branch office of Faculty of Medicine at Comenius University in Bratislava. At first the department was a part of the Department of Public Health. Later it became an independent Department of Forensic Medicine, while for a period of time it existed as a part of an association of the departments formed of small workplace units, until the abolition of this association and creation of independent departments. Until 2010 the Department of Forensic Medicine resided in historical building of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University on Šrobárova 57, then it was moved to the main building of the Faculty of Medicine on Trieda SNP 1, where it resides up to the present time.
Until year 2005, the Department of Forensic Medicine was a common workplace for Faculty of Medicine at UPJŠ and Louis Pasteur University Hospital in Košice, thereby providing a wide range of medico-legal services including autopsies and toxicological analyses for the health care authorities and law enforcement of the whole region of Eastern Slovakia. It also provided teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate medical students and later also law students.
Great change in the organization of institutions of forensic medicine occurred when the Health Care Surveillance Authority was established in January 1, 2005 in accordance with Act. No. 581/2004 Coll. Health care component of the department until then covered by the Louis Pasteur University Hospital became the competency of Medico-Legal and Pathological-Anatomical Department of the Health Care Surveillance Authority, while the department remained an academic workplace providing education and research.
Since 1948 the first head of the department was prof. Jozef Lukáči, MD, who was also in time period of 1957 – 1963 and 1971 – 1985 the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at UPJŠ and for many years acted as a Vice-dean of the faculty and a Vice-rector of the Pavol Jozef Šafárik University. First assistants at the department were two medical students. Since 1950 were among the assistants also doctors and since 1956 the assistants were only doctors. As the first Deputy Head (head physician) was appointed Štefan Haluška, MD, in 1963, and after him this position was held by Anton Gavel, MD, Dalibor Kállay, MD, Miroslav Szabó, MD and Vlasta Vyhnálková, MD, who is now leading the Medico-Legal and Pathological-Anatomical Department of the Health Care Surveillance Authority in Košice.
In 1990 assoc. prof. František Longauer, MD, CSc. became the head of the department and continued to lead the department until 2006. Of great benefit for the Faculty of Medicine, as well as for the whole Pavol Jozef Šafárik University was his appointment to the position of a Vice-dean for International Relations in the years 1991 – 1994 and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in the years 1994 – 1997. During that time, he provided UPJŠ with numerous contacts with universities abroad and helped in developing the teaching of foreign students and study stays abroad. In 1996 he was also a president of The Association of Medical Faculties in Slovak Republic. Assoc. prof. Longauer has significantly contributed to the development in the field of forensic medicine. He participated in the preparation and implementation of the concept of forensic medicine as a stand-alone medical branch, worked as a regional expert of Ministry of Health on forensic medicine and a president of Slovak Society of Forensic Medicine. The successor of assoc. prof. Longauer was in the years 2006 – 2019 Nikita Bobrov, MD, CSc.
The most notable people who worked at the Department of Forensic Medicine are Vojtech Klepsatel, MD, Jozef Čerman, MD, Rudolf Kemka, ME, assoc. prof. Andrej Nicák, MD, CSc., Andrej Hugec, MD, Ján Farius, MD, Ján Mihok, MD, Július Chriašteľ, MD, Ondrej Melich, MD, Pavol Zelenák, MD, Stanislav Koudela, ME, Ladislav Darvaš, MD, Ladislav Vámoši, MD, Valéria Kardošová, MD, Mária Dandárová, MD. As a teaching staff it were assoc. prof. Augustín Urbanský, MD, CSc., assoc. prof. Edita Maárová, MD, CSc., Klára Makovická, ME and as a research specialist Mária Adamová, RNDr., PhMr., CSc.
Since 2020 the department is led by Silvia Farkašová Iannaccone, MD, PhD., assoc. prof.