Forensic pathology focuses on determining cause of death in untimely or violent circumstances. Post-mortem examinations are performed by trained physicians who specialize in forensic pathology. Examinations may uncover critical evidence, such as a bullet or wound patterns, to aid in investigations. Understanding evidence handling and protocol is an essential component to pathological process and criminal investigations. Once examinations are complete, pathologists must complete a full report, indicating the manner or death and circumstances surrounding the cause of death.
Skills and Duties
- Analyze the whole body through the process of an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Medical knowledge of internal organs and their reaction to stimuli before and after death is required to be successful.
- Record findings via written and digital means to preserve results for current and future legal matters
- Conduct interviews to discover or discuss evidence regarding suspicious matters
- Testify in a court of law to discuss official findings, when necessary
- Utilizes advanced technology, such as mass spectrometry, to verify evidence
- May be required to work alone in confined spaces with the deceased
A.S. Degree in Forensic Pathology
Common Courses: Biology, Medical Science, Anatomy, Criminal Justice, Ethics, Medical Doctor
B.S. Degree in Forensic Science
Common Courses: Biochemistry, Evidence-Based Medicine, Death Investigation, Crime Scene Investigation
M.S. Degree in Forensic Science
Common Courses: Molecular Biology, Genetics, Statistics, Ethics, Criminalistics, Evidence Collection and Analytics, Scientific Writing
Ph.D. in Forensic Science
Common Courses: Advanced Biology, Advanced Chemistry, Psychology, Vulnerability Management, Forensic Anthropology, Forensic Toxicology, Forensic Odontology