Determining the cause, manner, and mechanism of death requires an intimate and deep knowledge of physiology, human anatomy, and pathology. Forensic pathologists are the medical doctors who specialize in examining and analyzing the diseases that affect the body. They are also the people in charge of performing autopsies like Dr. Alex Woods of CSI: Miami and Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard of NCIS. Pathology, the study of diseases, is a postdoctoral specialty that started in the 19th century. In the middle of the 20th century, the science of pathology began branching out into subspecialties and it was only in 1959 that the specialty forensic pathology was accepted as a certified specialty.
A forensic pathologist deals mainly with the application of study of medicine to criminal law. In addition, a forensic pathologist deals more likely with injuries. In fact, over 50% of the cases a forensic pathologist handles involve death caused by diseases; however, het is also responsible for performing autopsies that give way to evidences which he must present to the court based on his professional opinion.
He is also eligible to work as a coroner or a medical examiner. Other duties and responsibilities include examining and analyzing dead bodies to determine the cause, manner, and mechanism of death; performing autopsies; and supervising the pathology lab. The job description of a also entails assisting and helping law enforcement officials and providing expert testimony in court trials.
To become a forensic pathologist, you must undergo forensic trainings in college and must complete around 4 years of undergraduate course works. It is also a must that you complete at least four years of training in medical school, four years in pathology residency, and one year fellowship in forensic pathology.
Forensic Pathologist Salaries:
The salary of a forensic pathologist is variable; however, the rough estimate is between $75,000 and $200,000 per year. The average salary per year is between $80,000 and $120,000. Forensic jobs in private companies may yield a higher salary but requires more responsibilities and more work.