A forensic pathologist deals with the discovery, analysis and documentation of clinical medical information that can be found in or on human remains. He or she applies scientific methods and strategies for the collection, preservation, analysis and documentation of anatomical structures of both living and deceased humans, for both legal and crime investigation purposes. Forensic pathologists are physicians and medical professionals who are trained in a wide range of disciplines including: anatomy, pathology, forensic science, evidence-based medicine and physiology.
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Forensic Pathologist Salary
Using data from the American Association of Medical Examiner, we can estimate the annual salary for a forensic pathologist in the USA between $60K $to 200k.
What Is a Pathologist’s Medical Training?
To become a forensic pathologist, you need to complete a medical school education. The first step towards this is to get your B.A. in a science-based subject. The next step is to study a medical specialty, with your specialty chosen from a list of specialties.
To become a true forensic pathologist, you must complete four years of college, four years of medical school, three to four years of pathology residency, and a forensic pathology fellowship (1 year).
The common educational path for aspiring forensic pathologists is as follows:
- A bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field is required.
- Attend and complete medical school to earn a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) degree.
- Complete a three- to four-year residency in pathology.
- Complete a one- to two-year forensic pathology fellowship.
If you have a genuine interest in forensics, it is an excellent career. The most significant obstacle is admission to medical school and the associated work/debt. There are numerous available positions on Indeed.
The job market for forensic pathologists is wide and competitive. Forensic pathologists will require the level of expertise to analyze biological evidence for a range of different medical fields. They must be able to work with an extensive knowledge of pathology and pathology technology, as well as specific knowledge of forensic pathology.
Estimating a Forensic Pathologist’s Work Days
Forensic pathologists typically work five to seven days a week. Given that the work is very demanding, the doctor will have to be prepared for sleep deprivation and very short and frequent breaks.
When you work as a forensic pathologist in a residency hospital, residents handle the majority of the paperwork. Your work is frequently staggered because some items are signed out quickly while others await toxilogists’ finalisation, which can take weeks.
The majority of our forensic pathologists maintain reasonable schedules. You’ll need that gallows humour and a strong resistance to smell, but that, combined with a good deaner, will set you apart.
When the normal lab and autopsy days overlap, for example, you’ll likely spend a lot of time double-tracking, doing two jobs at once.
Top Forensic Pathology Schools
If you are looking for a career in forensic pathology, find out more about our top top schools and their pathway programs here.
Our list is by no means complete, but we have collated a range of medical schools with various pathways to clinical pathologist.
You can read the top 10 programs of forensic pathology for US residents here.
If you have specific questions about our forensic pathology schools, you can contact us.