Students may enter a forensic pathology fellowship after completing medical school and a pathology residency. Medical school programs are available at 4-year universities, while residency and fellowship programs may be found at universities, hospitals and clinics.
Schools with Forensic Pathology Programs
Students can train to become forensic pathologists at the following medical schools.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Tuition (In-state, 2015-2016)*|
|Pennsylvania State University||Hershey, PA||4-year, Public||$49,800|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI||4-year, Public||$43,408|
|University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center||Dallas, TX||4-year, Public||$17,913|
|University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC||4-year, Public||$21,837|
|George Washington University||Washington, DC||4-year, Private||$56,140|
|University of California-Davis||Davis, CA||4-year, Public||$35,322|
|Emory University||Atlanta, GA||4-year, Private||$49,800|
School Selection Criteria
The following noteworthy items may be considered when choosing a forensic pathology school:
- Students should make sure the schools they are considering are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
- When reviewing medical schools, students may examine the curricula to see if pathology clerkships are included.
- Since forensic pathology involves determining the cause of death in a variety of circumstances, students should find out if a school has a working relationship with the local medical examiners' offices.
- Students should explore research opportunities offered by the school to determine whether they are available in pathology-relevant topics.
Medical school programs typically last four years and are divided into two sections: the pre-clinical and clinical years. During the pre-clinical years, students take lecture-based coursework in biomedical topics. During the clinical years, students complete required and elective rotations in various healthcare facilities.
Residents in a pathology program attend lectures and work in a variety of clinical rotations, which address the numerous causes of death. The program may span four or more years with the emphasis divided between anatomical pathology and clinical pathology. Lectures and coursework may include supporting topics like law, courtroom procedures and crime scene investigation.
During a 1-year fellowship program, forensic pathology fellows investigate crime scenes and perform autopsies, as well as instruct residents in the proper procedures and record keeping requirements. Some fellowship programs mandate that fellows hold a medical license for the state in which the program is offered. While in a fellowship, individuals may also conduct research in a sub-topic of forensic pathology. Students may undergo training in various subspecialty areas.
For students who want to become forensic pathologists, a medical degree, residency program and fellowship can provide the required training. Prospective students should make sure that the schools they are considering have strong educational offerings in the field.