By: Kirsten Medina
Forensic pathologists are for mostly medical professionals who generally specialize in pathology (the study of diseases in the body). Only recently have specific forensic pathology training programs emerged, due to the realization by the justice system of the need for full-time forensic pathologists. Forensic pathologists are a combination of a doctor and a detective. They work with legal and crime departments to help find out the cause of death when it has been disputed, such as in cases of murder or suicide.
Although the general skills required to be a forensic pathologist are practically the same as a clinical pathologist, there are considerable differences in the nature of work that is carried out. The end result that forensic pathologists are trying to achieve is the completion and solving of a criminal case through the judicial process.
Forensic pathologists are required to obtain either a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or a
Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.). M.D. and D.O. degree programs are offered at medical schools and take four years to complete.
Medical school admission is competitive and usually requires a bachelor's degree with math and science coursework.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical
Baylor College of Medicine
The average forensic pathologist salary, depending on years of experience, location, and position, falls between
$80,000 and $200,000 per year. A forensic pathologist with 20+ years experience can earn as much as $272,000 a year plus insurance, vacations, and other benefits.
Some forensic pathologists work