Forensic Pathology Education in Pathology Residency: A Survey of Current Practices, a Novel Curriculum, and Recommendations for the Future

Amanda Spencer, Wayne K. Ross, Ronald E. Domen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forensic pathology is a fundamental part of anatomic pathology training during pathology residency. However, the lack of information on forensic teaching suggests the highly variable nature of forensic education. A survey of pathology residency program directors was performed to determine key aspects of their respective forensic rotations and curriculum. A total of 38.3% of programs from across the country responded, and the survey results show 5.6% don’t require a forensic pathology rotation. In those that do, most forensic pathology rotations are 4 weeks long, are done at a medical examiner’s office, and require set prerequisites. A total of 21.1% of responding programs have residents who are not receiving documented evaluations for this rotation. While 39.6% of programs have a defined forensics curriculum, as many as 15% do not. Furthermore, nearly 43% of programs place no limit on counting forensic autopsies when applying for pathology board examinations. Our survey confirmed the inconsistent nature of forensic pathology training in resident education. Additionally, our curriculum was reorganized to create a more robust educational experience. A pre- and post-forensic lecture quiz and Resident In-Service Examination scores were analyzed to determine our curriculum’s impact and effectiveness. Analysis of our pre- and post-lecture quiz showed an improved overall average as well as an increase in Resident In-Service Examination scores, indicating improved general forensic pathology knowledge. Using this knowledge, along with changes in our curriculum, we generated a number of recommendations for improving forensic pathology education in pathology residency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAcademic Pathology
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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