After completing a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree and a residency in anatomic pathology or anatomic and clinical pathology, aspiring forensic pathologists can complete a 1-year forensic pathology fellowship to get specialized training in the field. Forensic pathology programs are available through many highly-ranked medical schools.
Medical schools around the country offer fellowship programs in forensic pathology, but the three profiled here are some of the best in the country. The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, the University of Texas - Southwestern Medical Center, and the University of Colorado were all highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report among medical schools for 2017.
UNC - Chapel Hill
In 2017, the medical school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill was ranked 2nd in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. It offers a forensic pathology fellowship in conjunction with the office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Fellows in this program complete their work under the direction of the Chief Medical Examiner, which can see them perform around 250 autopsies, review reports from elsewhere in the state, and attend a national forensic pathology conference. They also have the opportunity to conduct laboratory research in such areas as clinical chemistry and special histology through the university's pathology department.
UT - Southwestern Medical Center
At the University of Texas - Southwestern Medical Center, the forensic pathology fellowship is offered in conjunction with the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office. Fellows generally complete between 200 and 300 autopsies, and they work alongside professionals in both the toxicology and physical evidence sections of the county's Criminal Investigation Laboratory. In addition, they attend regular didactic lectures, conduct case reviews, and participate in conferences in gross and microscopic neuropathology. For 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Texas - Southwestern as tied for 8th on its list of the best medical schools in the country.
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University of Colorado in Aurora
The forensic pathology fellowship program at the University of Colorado is offered in conjunction with the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner, which takes on 1,050 - 1,200 cases per year. Fellows in this program generally work on 200 - 250 autopsies and are expected to gain competency in forensic photography, data interpretation, evidence collection, and identifying remains. In addition to work at the Medical Examiner's office, fellows complete rotations in labs associated with the Denver Police Department and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. They're also asked to take part in the education of medical students and residents and encouraged to develop a presentation at a national forensic conference. U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Colorado's medical school as tied for 8th on its list of the best medical schools in 2017.
Top Forensic Pathology Schools
Here are some more top medical schools that offer fellowship programs in forensic pathology:
|University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||Ranked 5th on the U.S. News & World Report list of the best medical schools in 2017.|
|University of Alabama, Birmingham||Birmingham, AL||The forensic pathology fellowship program is offered in conjunction with the Jefferson County Medical Examiner Office, which sees about 400 accidental deaths and 100 homicides each year|
|Saint Louis University||Saint Louis, MO||Fellows in the forensic pathology program attend clinical pathology conferences each month|
|Indiana University||Indianapolis, IN||Forensic pathology fellows help teach medical students and pathology residents|
|Emory University||Atlanta, GA||Tied for 34th on the 2017 U.S. News & World Report list of the best medical schools|
|University of New Mexico||Albuquerque, NM||In addition to working in state crime labs, fellows in the forensic pathology program complete rotations in areas that include toxicology and forensic odontology|
|East Carolina University||Greenville, NC||Fellows have the opportunity to learn about the legal aspects of forensics through a partnership with the local district attorney's office|
Many of the best medical schools in the country offer fellowship programs for aspiring forensic pathologists. They typically provide students with opportunities to gain experience in a wide range of settings, such as police department crime labs and toxicology labs, in addition to the county medical examiner's office.