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Forensic Pathology Fellowship Program

Pathology Resident Elective Rotations

The OCME plays a dual role in the realm of forensic pathology: Public Safety and Public Health. The OCME conducts death investigations in an independent manner and without bias. Rotating resident physicians participate in the death investigation and case examination process. They are supervised and trained by board-certified forensic pathologists. The overall goals of this rotation are for the resident physician to learn the procedures and operations of the OCME, how to perform forensic and medico-legal autopsies, how to perform death scene investigations, and how to apply toxicologic and other special laboratory methods to forensic investigations. The resident physician also attends the daily morning meeting and the weekly case consensus meeting. When time permits, the resident physician attends death scene investigations, forensic science lectures, and selected public health activities. To apply for an elective rotation at OCME, please email [email protected]

Forensic Pathology Fellowship

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) for Washington, DC, in conjunction with the George Washington University Office of Graduate Medical Education, offers a one-year fellowship in Forensic Pathology. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) fully credits the program. The fellow will operate under the supervision of the OCME’s board-certified staff pathologists and complete between 200 and 250 autopsies and postmortem examinations.

The OCME has its own dedicated transport service, ABMDI (American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators) certified investigators, an identification unit, an ABFA (American Board of Forensic Anthropology) certified forensic anthropologist, and forensic photographers. The OCME conducts approximately 1000 full autopsies per year in its state-of-the-art facility. See the most recent completed annual report here. The American Board of Forensic Toxicology fully accredits the forensic toxicology laboratory.

Fellow responsibilities include completing rotations through the various OCME services and managing their caseload. Training will also include didactics to concentrate on more common subjects, including gunshot wound injuries, fire-related deaths, blunt and sharp force injuries, infant and child deaths, and courtroom testimony. The fellow will also take calls with investigators and attend death scenes. The fellowship includes a rotation through the Department of Forensic Sciences. Consultations and additional sign-ups in neuropathology and cardiac pathology are available, and scholarly activity with national and local conference presentations is required. The OCME also participates in various fatality review conferences, which the fellow will be able to attend.

Information for Applicants

Applicants must have completed AP or AP/CP post-graduate year three and be eligible for medical licensure in the District of Columbia.

Applicants should send a copy of their personal statement, including interest and goals, their CV, and three letters of reference to the Residency Program Coordinator at [email protected] with the Common Application for Pathology Fellowships on the CAP website here. Applications should be submitted before December 31st of the year preceding the fellowship start date. For example, applications for the 2025 to 2026 academic year should be submitted between the spring of 2023 and December 31st, 2023.

The OCME currently participates in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).

For more information, please email: [email protected]