To become a forensic pathologist, students must complete a 4-year residency in general pathology, along with a yearlong fellowship in forensic pathology. Medical schools around the country offer relevant programs for aspiring pathologists who are interested in forensic medicine.
Schools with Forensic Pathology Programs
These schools offer training programs for aspiring forensic pathologists:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered|
|Indiana University||Indianapolis, IN||4-year, Public||Residency, Fellowship|
|University of Colorado Denver||Aurora, CO||4-year, Public||Fellowship|
|Emory University||Atlanta, GA||4-year, Private||Residency, Fellowship|
|Temple University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Public||Residency|
|Ohio State University||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||Residency|
|Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD||4-year, Private||Residency|
|University of Minnesota||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public||Residency, Fellowship|
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private||Residency|
|Wake Forest University||Winston-Salem, NC||4-year, Private||Residency, Fellowship|
School Selection Criteria
Here are some considerations for students who choosing between programs in this field:
- Students should look for programs that have been accredited by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
- When choosing between medical schools, students may want to check if the school offers a pathology rotation and find out about residency placement rates in the field.
- When evaluating residency programs, students should compare pay stipends and the rate at which they increase as the student advances through the programs.
- Prospective fellows may want to research what techniques are practiced in a fellowship to make sure the program will fit their career goals.
Doctor of Medicine
The first two years of medical school are referred to as the pre-clinical years, while the last two are the clinical years. The pre-clinical years teach students the basic principles of the medical field that they can apply to pathology. The clinical years involve rotations in different areas of medicine. Through the program, medical scholars are trained to perform basic procedures, diagnose patients, interpret tests and plan treatments.
Most programs devote at least 18 months to both anatomical and clinical pathology, with the rest of the program divided between generalized training, laboratory medicine and research. Programs that focus exclusively on anatomical pathology or clinical pathology are also available.
Forensic Pathology Fellowships
Fellowships allow residents to specialize as forensic pathologists while giving them more autonomy and responsibility. Many require fellows to complete case reports and attend educational conferences, in addition to conducting autopsies and attending scenes. Fellows are often charged with overseeing residents and medical students. These hands-on programs vary from one institution to another.
Aspiring pathologists who want to focus on forensic medicine must fulfill extensive educational requirements before they can start practicing. They can find accredited programs that meet the necessary standards at many medical schools.