College of American Pathologists

  Forensic Pathology

  This page and related links last reviewed on August 28, 2012


Resources Resources

Fee-for Service Autopsies
This list is offered as a service to those seeking a pathologist to perform an autopsy. The list consists of members of the College of American Pathologists who have expressed a willingness in performing autopsies on a fee-for-service basis. All of these members are Board-certified pathologists. None of them has paid to be included on this list.
View list of autopsy consultants

CAP members can request to be listed as a fee-for-service autopsy consultant. If you are a CAP member pathologist, log in to access the request form.

Talking Points for Pathologists Confronting Legislation Restricting the Use of Images
Pathologists use autopsy images to teach emergency response professionals, nurses, police, coroners, attorneys, physicians, medical students and others. Access talking points to use when confronting legislation restricting image use.

Guidelines for Cooperation Between Pathologists and Funeral Professionals
At the request of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the College of American Pathologists (CAP) revised these guidelines (PDF, 103 K). Input was obtained from funeral directors and from pathologists serving on the CAP Autopsy and Forensic Pathology Committees.

Books and Other Publications Books and Other Publications

Basic Competencies in Forensic Pathology: A Forensic Pathology Primer (2006)

Introduction to Autopsy Technique, Step-by-Step Diagrams (2005)

Autopsy Performance and Reporting, 2nd Edition

Handbook of Forensic Pathology, 2nd Edition

CAP Products CAP Products

Forensic Pathology Program CD-ROM (FR) offers Category 1 Continuing Medical Education as well as Continuing Education for non-physicians. To order the FR Program, call the Customer Contact Center at 800-323-4040, press 1, then 3.

Sample FR Case (WORD 2.3MB)

Forensic Pathology Links Forensic Pathology Links

American Academy of Forensic Sciences
American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors
American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators
Florida Association of Medical Examiners
International Association for Identification
National Association of Medical Examiners
Society of Forensic Toxicologists

  • NAME Position Paper on the Medical Examiner Release of Organs and Tissues for Transplantation
    (PDF, 223 K)
  • CAP Public Policies CAP Public Policies

    login arrowPlease note that you must be logged in as a CAP member to view the policy.

    Technological Adjuncts to the Autopsy

    Optimizing Death Investigations and Forensic Sciences Practices

    Criteria for Autopsies

    Restrictions on the Uses of Autopsy Materials

    Payment and Performance of the Autopsy Service

    Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

    Certification of Death

    Observation of an Autopsy as Punishment

    Informed Consent for Autopsy

    Retention of Laboratory Records and Materials

    Autopsy Organ and Tissue Retention

    Requirements for Chief Medical Examiners

    Related Links Related Links

    Definitions Definitions

    Forensic pathology: Forensic pathology is the subspecialty of pathology that directs its efforts to the examination of living or dead persons in order to provide an opinion concerning the cause, mechanism, and manner of disease, injury or death; the identification of persons; the significance of biological and physical evidence; the correlation and/or reconstruction of wounds, wound patterns, and sequences; and conducting comprehensive medicolegal death investigations. Forensic pathology applies techniques of pathology to the needs and protection of public health, public safety, quality assurance, education in medicine, research, jurisprudence, and the administration of justice. Its highest goal is the development of strategies to prevent injury, disease, and death.

    Forensic pathologist: A forensic pathologist is a pathologist with special training and experience in forensic pathology who is actively engaged in medicolegal autopsies and death investigations. Forensic pathologists shall be board-certified by the American Board of Pathology or American Osteopathic Board of Pathology after appropriate training and passing a rigorous examination, or a non-USA based pathologist with equivalent certification. The practicing forensic pathologist is licensed in one or more states; he/she is skilled in conducting death investigations, interpreting injuries in both fatal and non-fatal cases, performing medicolegal examinations, determining disease/injury causation to an appropriate degree of medical certainty and determining cause and manner of death.