Forensic pathologists apply the techniques and theories of medicine to the legal system. They often determine the causes of death and disease by performing an autopsy and identify the bodies of the unidentified deceased. Clinical forensic pathologists identify patterns of disease or injury in living people (for example, child and elder abuse).
Forensic pathologists/biologists work in close collaboration with others such as attorneys, police officers, CIA or FBI agents, sheriff's offices, and other forensic scientists. They collect physical evidence from the body and submit it to criminalists for further study.
Education & Training
Most forensic pathologists are medical doctors. The typical educational path to becoming a forensic pathologist begins with the completion of a four-year degree in a science, followed by an additional four years in medical school, and an internship. After that, they must complete a residency in pathology and an additional fellowship in forensic pathology.
Forensic pathologists are typically employed by medical examiner offices and federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Medical examiners are often forensic pathologists themselves.
As of early 2010, the average annual salary for a forensic pathologist was $51,000.