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Department of Emergency Medicine Division of Forensic Emergency Medicine

No More - Together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault

Clinical forensic medicine includes all health care fields that may relate to the legal, judicial and law enforcement. For emergency medicine specifically, it is the application of forensic techniques and theories to living victims of injury, violence and crime (assault, gunshot wounds, intimate partner violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and motor vehicle injury).

The Department of Emergency Medicine provides clinical care to patients as well as education and training to physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals on important forensic medicine topics. Our Forensic Emergency Medicine Division teaches a forensic emergency medicine and trauma course within the Master of Science in Forensic Science program at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Drexel University College of Medicine's Emergency Medicine Department and Forensic Medicine Division have excellent working partnerships with several local and national forensic medicine organizations. Our respected physicians and staff are known for their high-level expertise.

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The Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center

The Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center (PSARC) was established in 2011 to meet the forensic and medical needs of sexual assault victims who are 16 years of age and older. PSARC is a private, not-for-profit center whose mission is to provide expertise in the assessment and evaluation of sexual assault victims in Philadelphia. All services are provided in private, medical office setting located adjacent to the Special Victims Unit of the Philadelphia Police Department. This unique setting allows for private, confidential, victim-centered care.

The center is staffed 24/7, by on-call, specially trained and experienced Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) who provide forensic rape examinations and evidence collection to both females and males. Our SANE staff are all highly-trained, compassionate nurses with years of experience in the care of sexually assaulted patients.

PSARC works closely with the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR), and the Philadelphia Sexual Assault Advisory Committee to provide a survivor-centered approach to sexual assault.

We care for victims regardless of their cooperation with law enforcement. Accompaniment services, if desired, are provided by Women Organized Against Rape, Philadelphia's rape crisis center.

Services provided at PSARC include:

  • Forensic medical evaluation
  • Injury documentation
  • Forensic photography
  • Pregnancy prevention
  • Sexually transmitted infection prevention
  • HIV prevention
  • Follow-up care
  • Court testimony
  • Victim advocacy linkage

We also offer telephone consultation with an expert on sexual assault care to medical professionals.

We have several training opportunities for nurses, medical students, and resident physicians who are interested in gaining clinical expertise in the care of sexual assault victims. If you are interested, please contact the center at 215.425.1625.

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Contact PSARC

300 E. Hunting Park Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19124
Phone: 215.800.1589
Fax: 215.425.1419
Emergencies: Call 215.425.1625 to reach the on-call sexual assault nurse examiner

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Forensic Medicine Staff

Dr. Ralph Riviello

Ralph Riviello, MD, graduated from Hahnemann University in 1994 and completed his emergency medicine residency at Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa. In 2010, he earned his master's degree in forensic medicine from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has developed a national reputation of leadership and excellence in forensic emergency medicine and sexual assault care. He is the director of forensic emergency medicine for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine and currently serves as medical director for the Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center (PSARC). He also serves as chair of the American College of Emergency Physicians Forensic Medicine Section. In addition, he is the immediate past-president of the Pennsylvania Chapter of ACEP.

Dr. Riviello is an active educator and researcher in forensically relevant topics and sexual assault. He has helped to integrate this training into the residency education program at Drexel University College of Medicine. He hopes to continue to play an integral role in the development of the specialty of forensic emergency medicine. He continues to focus on integration of clinical forensic medicine into clinical practice and residency education.

Michael J. Boyle

Michael J. Boyle ( is a 30-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, having spent 25 years in the Detective Bureau and 20 years with the Special Victims Unit (SVU). He retired from the Philadelphia Police Department as a lieutenant in charge of the child abuse section of the SVU. He has personally overseen and supervised thousands of sexual assault investigations and was instrumental in developing a collaborative relationship between police and advocacy groups, including Women Organized Against Rape, the Women's Law Project and the Philadelphia Children's Alliance. He graduated from Hahnemann Medical College, School of Allied Health Professions with a Bachelor of Science degree in mental health technology in 1974.

Michael joined the PSARC in 2011 and serves as the center's project director. In this capacity, he has helped to guide the development of the PSARC and fostered more effective treatment protocols for victims, while improving relationships between police, prosecutors and victims.

He has guest lectured on the topic of sexual violence and child abuse at a number of colleges and institutions, including St. Joseph's University, LaSalle University, Temple University, Drexel University, University of Pennsylvania, as well as various police and prosecutor agencies.

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Blurred emergency patient being moved in a hospital.