Forensic Pathologist - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Forensic Pathologist


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Job Description


Forensic pathologists, also known as medical examiners, are the professionals who determine the cause of death for a person who died unexpectedly or violently.

The pathologist examines the person's dead body to determine the cause of death – that is, the exact reason.

They are also responsible for ascertaining if the death was natural, accidental, a murder, or a suicide – the “manner of death.”

Forensic pathologists work closely with law enforcement and may be appointed as medical examiners at the city, county, or state level.

After meticulous evidence collection, the forensic pathologist often presents, explains, and defends their findings in a courtroom.

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Responsibilities

 

The forensic pathologist uses a complex mix of medical and forensic techniques to determine how the person died.

This usually includes conducting an autopsy, examining crime scene evidence and witness testimony, collecting medical evidence from the cadaver, analyzing other evidence like ballistics or toxicology, analyzing blood (serology), and utilizing DNA technology. 

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Skills

 

Communication

Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.

Trustworthiness

Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 

Perceptiveness

Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.

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Working Conditions

 

Forensic pathologists work in the laboratory most of the time, often standing or sitting for extended periods of time.

Typical work includes conducting autopsies and using a microscope to analyze tissue samples. A workday may range from 10 to 12 hours or longer and may involve travel to a remote death site.

The pathologist needs to write clear, thorough, accurate reports. Occasional court appearances are necessary.

A forensic pathologist may work for a medical school, hospital, or other private organization that provides autopsy services to the government.

Others work directly for the government at the city, county, state, or federal level.

Forensic pathologists undergo difficult training requiring a minimum of 13 years. While physical demands from the job are minimal, these experts are subjected to extremely disturbing sites, intensely unpleasant odors of decay, and the repeated sight of human bodies mangled by violence.

The profession calls for strong nerves and may have long-term emotional effects on those who practice it.

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
04.05.2019
Psychiatry-Forensic opening in Temple, Texas. This and other physician jobs brought to you by DocCafe.com Baylor Scott & White Health is the largest non-profit, private healthcare system in Texas. As we expand our department, we are...
06.26.2019
Psychologist Senior (Forensics) Broughton Hospital is currently accepting applications for a Senior Psychologist (Forensic). This position is part of Forensic Services which currently performs Court-ordered forensic evaluations, provides...
06.07.2019
Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, VA is seeking a full time Forensic Nurse Examiner position to work within the Emergency Department. This position will support Carilion's hallmars of service excellence and quality for all job...
06.26.2019
As a Speech Pathologist I, the employee supports the overall Mission and Vision of Valley Health by providing the highest quality and best-practice service to its customers. The Speech Pathologist I may be employed in any one of the rehab...
06.26.2019
As a Speech Pathologist I, the employee supports the overall Mission and Vision of Valley Health by providing the highest quality and best-practice service to its customers. The Speech Pathologist I may be employed in any one of the rehab...
04.30.2019
Attention current TriHealth employees: Please apply for this position by submitting an online internal application via SuccessFactors. Please be certain to update your SuccessFactors Employee Profile prior to applying to this position....
04.30.2019
Attention current TriHealth employees: Please apply for this position by submitting an online internal application via SuccessFactors. Please be certain to update your SuccessFactors Employee Profile prior to applying to this position....
06.26.2019
Attention current TriHealth employees: Please apply for this position by submitting an online internal application via SuccessFactors. Please be certain to update your SuccessFactors Employee Profile prior to applying to this position....
06.26.2019
The Speech Language Pathologist position is located in Kokomo, Indiana. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote positive health outcomes...
06.26.2019
The Speech Language Pathologist- Inpatient position is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote positive...
06.26.2019
The incumbent must possess licensure as a Speech Pathologist in the State of Mississippi; licensure must be current, valid, and in good standing; must possess current CPR certification; previous clinical experience as a Speech-Language...
03.05.2018
Pathology opening in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. This and other physician jobs brought to you by DocCafe.com Ghost Rx   is looking to hire qualified   Part-Time   Pathologist   to work as a civilian contractor at the...
06.26.2019
The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is responsible for the clinical aspects of the speech/language therapy services including accurate diagnosis of communication deficits; evaluation of communication, cognitive and swallowing functions; and...
06.26.2019
The Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health position will cover Madison, Delaware, and Henry Counties. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to...
06.26.2019
The Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health position will cover Johnson and Shelby Counties. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote...
  1. Forensic Psychiatry Ringle, WI DocCafe
    Psychiatry-Forensic opening in Temple, Texas. This and other physician jobs brought to you by DocCafe.com Baylor Scott & White Health is the largest non-profit, private healthcare system in Texas. As we expand our department, we are...
  2. Senior Psychologist (Forensic Services) Raleigh, NC NC Department of Health and Human Services
    Psychologist Senior (Forensics) Broughton Hospital is currently accepting applications for a Senior Psychologist (Forensic). This position is part of Forensic Services which currently performs Court-ordered forensic evaluations, provides...
  3. Forensic Nurse Examiner - Emergency Department - CRMH Roanoke, VA Carilion Clinic
    Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, VA is seeking a full time Forensic Nurse Examiner position to work within the Emergency Department. This position will support Carilion's hallmars of service excellence and quality for all job...
  4. Speech Pathologist I Winchester , VA Valley Health System
    As a Speech Pathologist I, the employee supports the overall Mission and Vision of Valley Health by providing the highest quality and best-practice service to its customers. The Speech Pathologist I may be employed in any one of the rehab...
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    Attention current TriHealth employees: Please apply for this position by submitting an online internal application via SuccessFactors. Please be certain to update your SuccessFactors Employee Profile prior to applying to this position....
  7. SPEECH PATHOLOGIST Cincinnati, OH TriHealth
    Attention current TriHealth employees: Please apply for this position by submitting an online internal application via SuccessFactors. Please be certain to update your SuccessFactors Employee Profile prior to applying to this position....
  8. SPEECH PATHOLOGIST Cincinnati, OH TriHealth
    Attention current TriHealth employees: Please apply for this position by submitting an online internal application via SuccessFactors. Please be certain to update your SuccessFactors Employee Profile prior to applying to this position....
  9. Speech Language Pathologist Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Speech Language Pathologist position is located in Kokomo, Indiana. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote positive health outcomes...
  10. Speech Language Pathologist- Inpatient Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Speech Language Pathologist- Inpatient position is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote positive...
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    Pathology opening in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. This and other physician jobs brought to you by DocCafe.com Ghost Rx   is looking to hire qualified   Part-Time   Pathologist   to work as a civilian contractor at the...
  13. Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) Elkin, NC Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital
    The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is responsible for the clinical aspects of the speech/language therapy services including accurate diagnosis of communication deficits; evaluation of communication, cognitive and swallowing functions; and...
  14. Speech Lang Pathologist- Home Health Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health position will cover Madison, Delaware, and Henry Counties. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to...
  15. Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health Indianapolis, IN Community Health Network
    The Speech Language Pathologist -Home Health position will cover Johnson and Shelby Counties. Job Duties Performs professional Speech Therapy activities in accordance with the agencys policies and the physician plan of treatment to promote...