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FORENSICS and Medicine

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by silver_eyes, May 21, 2002.

  1. silver_eyes

    silver_eyes Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2001

    i was wondering a possible medical pathway. i know i am just a sophomore in college but, anyway.

    i always wanted to become a CT surgeon. i have also stated that in many of my posts on SDN. But, come to think of it 15+ years after medical school is A LOT of time and i want to have a life and get married and have kids, eventually, but i dont want to go to school forever.

    i was thinking about general surgery but also a lot about Forensics. Is that a rotation you have to do during medical school rotaions? What exactly would a person do as a MD in forensics. What title do you have(for example: if u want to be a heart surgeon you will say dr. ---- is a cardiothoracic surgeon. if ur in forensics would u say dr. ---- is a forensics doctor?)? How long does it take? the whole pathway starting, with college.

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  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    It depends on what you mean by your interest in forensic medicine. Forensics deals with the use of science in investigating facts for use in legal cases. Probably the most well-known forensic doctors are medical examiners. Medical examiners usually work for the government and determine the cause of death by autopsy or inerpret medical data for use in criminal and civil legal cases.

    I believe that medical examiners typically pursue a residency in pathology (4 years) followed by a 1 year fellowship in forensic medicine.

    There are also other fields of forensics in medicine (forensic psychiatry) as well as other unrelated fields such as forensic engineers and forensic scientists.

    Definitely fascinating stuff...melding law and science...
  4. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2001
    Portland, OR
    I should add that the residency and fellowship for a typical medical examiner would come after completion of an undergraduate degree and a medical degree. So the total time committment post-secondary education would be:

    4 years undergraduate education (B.S., B.A., or equivalent)
    4 years medical school (M.D. or D.O.)
    4 years pathology residency
    1 year forensics fellowship

    for a total of 11 years of post-secondary education.
  5. lady bug

    lady bug 7+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Does anyone know how long it is for ophtholmology? What type of fellowships are there in optho?
  6. Sheri911

    Sheri911 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2001
    Also, there are post grad programs in forensics available. As stated above, an M.E. is the most common actual (M.D./D.O.) in forensics, but you can also do DNA forensics, or research in forensics as well. I myself am majoring in biology with a forensics concentration, but I do not plan on examining dead bodies for a living. I would like to do DNA research so OJ wouldn't walk a second time though!
  7. Forensic Chick

    Forensic Chick 10+ Year Member

    Jan 29, 2002
    If you are simply interested in forensics, I wouldn't recommend getting your MD for it. There are many great positions in crime labs (making $5000+/mo) that you can obtain with a BS.

    From the forensic pathologists I've spoken with, you really have to love the work to do it. They see people at their worst every day. Death after death after death... Personally, it's something that I've been interested in for many years and I'm fortunate that death does not affect me in the general sense.

    To test it out, you may want to volunteer at a Coroner's office or apply for a job at a crime lab. Much of what they do in a crime lab (analyzing class and individual evidence, toxicology, etc, etc) is what a forensic pathologist does, but the pathologist simply deals with the body as evidence, whereas the forensic scientists deal with the entire crime scene, minus the body.

    Best of luck with your decision.
  8. ussdfiant

    ussdfiant Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    Bumping this up for silver so she won't post it a fourth time.
  9. silver_eyes

    silver_eyes Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Gosh. it isnt a crime to post more than once if u cant find it. if the search option was wokring, i wouldnt have posted it. but thanks! :)


    whoa..that is almost as much as general surgery. hmm...i dont know. i am only a soph in college. i guess ill find out when i do my roations during medical school.

    i have another question: someone told me that as long as one doesnt care WHERE they get into medical, you have no problem. is that true?

  10. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Administrator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Just a comment, silver_eyes...

    Where did you get the 15+ years after medical school as the length of training to be a CT Surgeon? CT Surgery requires a General Surgery residency (5+ years, usually 5-7)plus 2 years for a CT fellowship. Max of 9 years I get; minimum of 7. Since doing a Forensics fellowship after a Path residency takes a total of 5 years, I should think that the extra 2-4 years wouldn't make a huge difference in your plans for a family.

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