The Forensic Pathology Fellowship program at Wake Forest School of Medicine aims to provide fellows with a solid foundation in forensic pathology.
This one-year fellowship provides the opportunity to perform about six to eight autopsies per week, including scene investigation and trial testimony when possible.
Each forensic fellow handles 200 to 250 medicolegal autopsies during the year and will experience on-scene investigations, including examination of the body before it has been disturbed. The Medical Center has a rich variety of cases referred from about 32 North Carolina counties.
The office autopsy caseload includes about:
- 10% homicides
- 10% suicides
- 50% accidents
- 5% undetermined manner
- 25% natural causes
This program meets the training requirements for the American Board of Pathology's certification examination in Forensic Pathology.
Why Train at Wake Forest?
The autopsy service at Wake Forest Baptist Health is a designated Regional Autopsy Center for the medical examiner system in North Carolina, housed in an academic institution (Wake Forest School of Medicine).
It provides guidance and forensic autopsy services for county medical examiners in 32 counties. The service performs approximately 1,100 autopsies each year, and its caseload is conducive to dedicated training.
A forensic pathology fellow can expect a wide variety of cases including deaths in populated urban areas, and rural and mountainous areas. Expected autopsy cases encompass homicides by all classifications of traumatic injuries, including gunshot fatalities by a wide variety of firearms, blunt force trauma, poisonings, various forms of accidental deaths, as well as interesting natural manners of death.
Fellows have access to consultants in forensic anthropology, odontology, surgical/cyto- and hematopathology and forensic toxicology.
Upon completion of the program, fellows will be able to perform a competent medicolegal investigation from start to finish on cases including:
- Natural cause
Fellows will also be able to conduct the professional and administrative operations required of a forensic pathologist and medical examiner.
In addition to training in the autopsy suite, the forensic fellow will receive instruction through online modules covering other forensic science branches. The fellow will also have opportunities to work with consultants in anthropology and odontology.