Forensic Pathology as a Career
The career that I researched was forensic pathology. The job of a pathologist is to determine a person’s cause of death by examining tissues and fluids from the body. A forensic pathologist does this as well, but they are trained to examine people who died unexpectedly or violently and to recognize other things that a regular pathologist might not, such as recognizing something as intentional rather than accidental. They have to determine who the person is, the time of death, the manner of death, and if it was accidental, the instruments which caused the death.
To get an idea about the patient, the forensic pathologist would first get some information about the person’s past, including their medical history. By having this information, they would know to check if the person’s death was related to a drug overdose, or if unusual chemicals in the body were caused by medications the person was taking and they were related to the cause of death. They would perform an autopsy, looking for things such as toxins in the body, broken skin, evidence of sexual assault, etc., and record their findings and their determined cause of death. Also, as forensic pathologists are trained to interpret methods of injury, they will examine living individuals in cases of suspected rape/sexual assault or child abuse, determining whether the pattern of injuries is consistent with accidental or intentional injuries, usually for law-enforcement purposes only.
In the process of becoming a forensic pathologist, they first went to college for four years to get a bachelors degree. After that, they spend four more years in medical school to earn either an M.D. or D.O. degree. Once they have done this, they could either spend four years training in anatomic pathology and then train for one more year in forensic pathology, or spend five years training in anatomic and clinical pathology followed by one year of residency or fellowship in forensic pathology. Then, to become certified, they must pass an exam given by the American Board of...