A forensic pathologist is a doctor by profession who examines dead bodies and determines the cause of the person’s death and other clues to solve the mystery of his/ her demise. In order to determine the cause, he performs an autopsy in a forensic laboratory, collects information found while examining the body and analyzes any other clues in the crime scene. He is also responsible for writing forensic reports on his observations and inferences, and defends his findings in the court. As the rate of crime is on a rise in India, forensic pathologists are much in demand. Salary for a forensic pathologist depends on the employer, years of experience, and location.

Scope for Forensic Pathologist in India

Forensic pathologists in India are doctors with an MD in Forensic Medicine or with MD in Pathology with specialization in Forensic Pathology. They work with government and private investigating agencies to solve murder and accident cases, and examine lawsuits involved with sexual offences and other injuries. They are in fact a significant member of the legal team consulting on a case from the medical point of view. Forensic pathologists, therefore, not only have a strong medical background (i.e. in human anatomy, physiology and cell and tissue biology), but they also have knowledge of the legal system in India. Here is a list of places where forensic pathologists can find placement:

Government Sector- Forensic laboratories, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Narcotics Department, State Forensic Departments, Police Crime Branch, Hospitals and Courts.
Private Sector- Investigating Agencies, Security Services, Law Firms, and Private Practice.

In addition to the scope for forensic pathologists mentioned above, they can also consider teaching positions in the Department of Forensic Medicine in medical colleges all across the country.

Education of a Forensic Pathologist

To become a forensic pathologist, you will need to first complete your MBBS degree from a recognized university in India. After completion of MBBS, you will have to take the Post Graduate Medical Entrance exams held by medical universities all over the country. Then you can either choose Forensic Medicine or Pathology in the post graduate level i.e. MD. If you choose MD in Pathology, you can specialize in Forensic Pathology or pursue a Diplomate of National Board (DNB) course in Forensic Pathology.

Work of a Forensic Pathologist

Work shifts of forensic pathologists have no fixed course and depend on the time of the crime. They require visiting the scene of the murder or accident and then working in the laboratory. Laboratory work includes autopsies, tissue examinations, recording findings and writing reports. Work hours, therefore, can be long and depend on the frequency of crime. In addition to these, forensic pathologists will also need to visit the court to testify the report. In spite of the long working hours and gruesome dead bodies, the career as a forensic pathologist can be highly satisfying and rewarding.

Salary for a Forensic Pathologist

Starting to work in a laboratory a forensic pathologist can expect to earn an annual salary of Rs. 96,000 to Rs. 144,000. As the forensic pathologist gains in experience, the salary may rise to about Rs. 180,000 to Rs. 264,000 with just three to four years of experience. With more experience, forensic pathologists are able to get senior positions and remarkably higher salary.