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How To Become A Forensic Pathologist
If you are interested in how to become a forensic pathologist it should be noted that these professionals are essentially graduates from medical school who have advanced residency training in anatomic pathology. They help determine the cause of death in cases and examine corpses. The exact career track may vary from state to state but the overall progression is similar everywhere. One of the biggest challenges, besides dedicating oneself to several years of study, is getting admitted to an accredited medical college.
What Is It Like to Be a Forensic Pathologist?
In discovering how to become a forensic pathologist, one might find out more details about what the duties are. Forensic pathologists are professionally-certified doctors who determine different causes of death in a variety of cases, such as homicides, suicides, or accidental deaths.
They may work with local law enforcement, medical examiners, and colleagues to perform autopsies and examine any evidence or clues found on corpses. They are very familiar with modern scientific instruments and modern laboratory procedures. They may also be called to testify or make a statement in a court of law as an expert witness.
What Kind of Schooling Do I Need to Become a Forensic Pathologist?
At the outset, a prospective forensic pathologist should have a high school diploma or equivalent. This is important for gaining admission to a four year school or university. Another critical step in how to become a forensic pathologist is to develop your critical thinking skills and excel in science and mathematics. Extracurricular activities should improve teamwork and leadership skills necessary for your future career.
Attending college after high school is changing in the sense of how education is achieved and administered. Some students may be attracted to the convenience of online courses through an online school. Getting an online education is becoming more popular than ever. However, make sure any credits transfer and that the online college is accredited. Common undergraduate majors that lead to a career in forensic pathology include biology, chemistry, or even physics. But take note that there are probably core classes that are required for medical school admission no matter what degree is pursued. Some exposure to law or criminal justice courses might make the potential forensic pathologist more competitive in the future.
Gaining medical school admission is perhaps the biggest challenge in this career track. Getting the best grades you can in college helps, as does scoring the best possible score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). There are great study guides out there and plenty of resources for prospective medical school students. After the completion of medical school, expect to study and work three years in a residency program in anatomic pathology. Some future forensic pathologists combines extra study with a clinical residency and this usually adds another year to the track.
Finally, to become board certified as a professional and licensed forensic pathologist, a student must pass an examination administered by the American Board of Pathology. To gain more details on the specifics of the entire career track it might be best to consider speaking with college and medical school admission staff as they are a great resource on how to become a forensic pathologist. Don’t wait! The sooner you get started on your education, the sooner you will be working as a forensic pathologist.