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Forensic Pathology is a subspecialty of pathology used to investigate crime scenes and the corpses of people who have died suddenly or violently. It incorporates anatomical pathology, histology, DNA technology, firearms examination, trace evidence, serology, and toxicology. It uses a range of techniques to undertake autopsies, also known as post-mortem examinations, and conduct forensic analysis, to help determine the cause of death and how the person died. Investigation involves collection of DNA, blood and tissue samples, laboratory testing, stage of death analysis, and also studies the medical history of the deceased, witness statements and any other documentation from the scene. Forensic Pathology assists law enforcement agencies and families and makes contributions to public health and preventative medicine by studying the dead.

Forensic Pathology Jobs

Forensic Pathologists work in pathology laboratories in hospitals and government agencies. They undertake post mortem examinations of the dead to investigate the nature/mechanism of death and cause of death. They may also investigate crime scenes and trace evidence to help solve criminal cases. They collect and examine DNA, blood, and tissue specimens under the microscope. They collect and interpret toxicological specimens. They work closely with the medico-legal authority and can serve as expert witnesses. To qualify as a Forensic Pathologist, registered doctors with at least 2 years post-graduate clinical experience, can apply for specialist training in Forensic Pathology with the RCPA (Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia). This involves 5 years of accredited training and leads the Fellowship (FRCPA) and registration as a Specialist Pathologist with the Medical Board of Australia (AHPRA).