A Forensic Pathologist is someone who investigates deaths, the majority of their day to day work is involved with taking out autopsies and providing reports and evidence to support police investigations. Forensic Pathology is a specialised medical and scientific profession with specific training routes that need to be met. It is a very rewarding career and with advances in technology, science and medicine it is an evolving and exciting career path to work within.

Is it for you?

Do you have the necessary qualifications/training; there are three main routes to becoming a Pathologist:

  • Qualified Doctor – after completing your 5 years medical training you would then be required to complete a further 2 years foundation training to specialise as a medical pathologist http://www.rcpath.org/careers/chemical-pathology.htm
  • Clinical Scientist – after completing a Biochemistry related degree you would then enter a 3 year programme of basic training followed by a 4- 5 years of specialised scientist training http://www.assclinsci.org/acsHome.aspx
  • Biomedical Scientist – after completing your first biomedical sciences related degree you would need to complete 2-3 years of further training https://www.ibms.org/

Top Tips:

  • Excellent attention to detail is essential providing accurate and specialised information and analysis for case reports
  • The desire to constantly improve your knowledge and update your training and speciality through CPD (continuing professional development) is an industry requirement
  • Do you have good communication skills? Good communication skills are necessary when reporting and performing autopsies and working in small teams with other colleagues to solve cases

Useful Resources:

The Royal College of Pathologists (for career paths, CPD , accreditation and training) http://www.rcpath.org/

The Institute of biomedical Science: https://www.ibms.org/

Association of Clinical Scientists: http://www.assclinsci.org/acsHome.aspx

National Career Service, Forensic Scientist Job Profile: https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/advice/planning/jobprofiles/Pages/forensicscientist.aspx

Blog articles ‘Becoming a Forensic Pathologist Assistant’ http://www.itsgov.com/forensic-pathologist-assistants-unspoken-heroes.html

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