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
11.26.2019
Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), an award winning public health system, is currently recruiting for a part time (0.7FTE) Pathologist to join a well-established and talented pathology department. CHA is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical...
12.06.2019
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Milton is currently seeking a Speech Language Pathologist. The Speech Language Pathologist performs skilled patient evaluations and organizes and implements Speech Language Pathology programs on patients based on...
12.06.2019
Under the combined supervision of the medical director and supervisor of the cutting room, the Pathologist Assistant assists in the gross description and dissection of all types of tissues sent to the surgical pathology laboratory for analysis,...
12.06.2019
The SpeechLanguage Pathologist assess, diagnose, treat, and help prevent communication and swallowing disorders. The Speech-Language Pathologist will develop treatment plans and completes all documentation in a timely manner. Masters degree and...
11.13.2019
Speech Language Pathologist Posted: November 13, 2019 Category: Allied Health & Technicians The licensed staff Speech/Language Pathologist (SLP) is to provide SLP evaluation and therapy services to patients in the acute care,...
12.06.2019
Speech Pathologist-7455-6790 SOVAH Health - Danville Description Evaluates and treats patient populations for swallowing, speech-language and therapy needs. Qualifications Graduate from a school of speech pathology required. Masters...
12.06.2019
VCU Health System-Children's Hospital of Richmond(CHoR) at VCU, Brook Road Campus - Stafford Therapy Center is seeking an hourly Speech Therapist. The Speech Pathologist is a novice to an advanced beginner level of practice, particularly as it...
09.06.2019
The Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona is seeking a general surgical pathologist with demonstrated interest and expertise in neuropathology to work in a large group practice setting. The ideal candidate will...
11.20.2019
Provides diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for speech, language, voice, swallow and fluency disorders. Evaluates the needs of assigned patients, establishes goals with the patient and plans and conducts treatment. Effectively interacts...
12.06.2019
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...
12.06.2019
The Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) is a member of a multi-disciplinary early intervention team. The SLP will evaluate and provide treatment services to children birth to 5 years in individual and group speech and language sessions. The...
12.06.2019
Degree Required Education: A minimum of a master's degree in speech/language pathology from an accredited institution offering training in this specialty. Must meet all standards required by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association...
12.06.2019
Degree Required Education: A minimum of a master's degree in speech/language pathology from an accredited institution offering training in this specialty. Must meet all standards required by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association...
12.06.2019
Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) Elkin, NC Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Speech Therapy PRN - 1st Shift As-Needed Req #: 3841-2393 Posted: November 4, 2019 Apply Now Save Job Summary The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is...
05.29.2019
: The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), under the direction of the Rehab Director, is responsible for evaluating, planning, and implementing medically prescribed treatment for patients in the homecare setting. Responsible for assessing and...
  1. Pathologist Cambridge, MA Cambridge Health Alliance
    Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), an award winning public health system, is currently recruiting for a part time (0.7FTE) Pathologist to join a well-established and talented pathology department. CHA is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical...
  2. Speech Pathologist Milton, MA Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Milton
    Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Milton is currently seeking a Speech Language Pathologist. The Speech Language Pathologist performs skilled patient evaluations and organizes and implements Speech Language Pathology programs on patients based on...
  3. Pathologist Assistant Boston, MA Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
    Under the combined supervision of the medical director and supervisor of the cutting room, the Pathologist Assistant assists in the gross description and dissection of all types of tissues sent to the surgical pathology laboratory for analysis,...
  4. Speech Language Pathologist PRN Cleveland, OH St Vincent Charity Medical Center
    The SpeechLanguage Pathologist assess, diagnose, treat, and help prevent communication and swallowing disorders. The Speech-Language Pathologist will develop treatment plans and completes all documentation in a timely manner. Masters degree and...
  5. Speech Language Pathologist Crisfield, MD McCready Health
    Speech Language Pathologist Posted: November 13, 2019 Category: Allied Health & Technicians The licensed staff Speech/Language Pathologist (SLP) is to provide SLP evaluation and therapy services to patients in the acute care,...
  6. Speech Pathologist Danville, VA Danville Regional Medical Center
    Speech Pathologist-7455-6790 SOVAH Health - Danville Description Evaluates and treats patient populations for swallowing, speech-language and therapy needs. Qualifications Graduate from a school of speech pathology required. Masters...
  7. Speech Pathologist Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System-Children's Hospital of Richmond(CHoR) at VCU, Brook Road Campus - Stafford Therapy Center is seeking an hourly Speech Therapist. The Speech Pathologist is a novice to an advanced beginner level of practice, particularly as it...
  8. Anatomic Pathologist Phoenix, AZ Mayo Clinic's Campus in Arizona
    The Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona is seeking a general surgical pathologist with demonstrated interest and expertise in neuropathology to work in a large group practice setting. The ideal candidate will...
  9. Speech Pathologist New Lenox, IL Silver Cross Hospital
    Provides diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for speech, language, voice, swallow and fluency disorders. Evaluates the needs of assigned patients, establishes goals with the patient and plans and conducts treatment. Effectively interacts...
  10. Speech Pathologist (SLP) Part Time 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...
  11. Speech & Language Pathologist Portland, ME MaineHealth
    The Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) is a member of a multi-disciplinary early intervention team. The SLP will evaluate and provide treatment services to children birth to 5 years in individual and group speech and language sessions. The...
  12. Speech Language Pathologist Searcy, AR Unity Health
    Degree Required Education: A minimum of a master's degree in speech/language pathology from an accredited institution offering training in this specialty. Must meet all standards required by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association...
  13. Speech Language Pathologist Searcy, AR Unity Health
    Degree Required Education: A minimum of a master's degree in speech/language pathology from an accredited institution offering training in this specialty. Must meet all standards required by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association...
  14. Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) Elkin, NC Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital
    Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) Elkin, NC Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Speech Therapy PRN - 1st Shift As-Needed Req #: 3841-2393 Posted: November 4, 2019 Apply Now Save Job Summary The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is...
  15. Speech Pathologist Spartanburg, SC Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
    : The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), under the direction of the Rehab Director, is responsible for evaluating, planning, and implementing medically prescribed treatment for patients in the homecare setting. Responsible for assessing and...