LAMP 7119: Forensic Pathology

Course Availability:   2017-2018   2018-2019

General Information

Course Director:  Dr. Sarah E Meyers

Course Coordinator:  Melissa Lallak, (612) 215-6328


MS Year:  MS3 or MS4

Periods offered:  All periods

Total credits (weeks):  4

Consent requirement:  No

Patient care:  No

Clinical site(s):  HC: Office of the Medical Examiner, Hennepin County Medical Center, 530 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55415

Required session attendance:  

Typical weekly schedule:  M-F, 7:30am-4:00pm with a 7:00am start on the first day.  No night or weekend assignments


Required or Elective:  Elective

Limited to student type:  No

Prerequisites:  No

Course equivalency:  None

Open to visiting students:  No


Discipline(s):  Lab Medicine & Pathology

Description:  The student will become acquainted with medicolegal death investigation by participating in daily meetings, attending autopsies, and discussing the certification of death as to the cause and manner with the medical examiners. They may also participate in other opportunities, as available, such as going to the scene of death with the civilian investigators and attending attorney meetings or observing courtroom proceedings. The student will be expected to review available literature, including the book Forensic Pathology: Principals and Practice by Dolinak.
This course acquaints students with the field of forensic medicine. The student will become familiar with the function of a medical examiner's office in determining the various causes and manners of death that fall under the jurisdiction of such a public official.

Course objectives:  By the end of this rotation, students will be able to:

  • identify which types of deaths fall under the medical examiner’s jurisdiction
  • formulate ideas on appropriate ways to sign out a death certificate
  • identify basic patterns of injury and natural disease
  • recognize common toxicologic agents implicated in deaths
  • describe the major steps of performing an autopsy and the strengths and limitations of the autopsy as a diagnostic tool


Graded components:

  • Regular and timely attendance at daily meetings and conferences
  • Preparation for an participation in conferences and discussions
  • Participation in autopsy cases, including follow-up test results and microscopy
  • Professionalism in interaction with staff
  • Journal club presentation at toxicology rounds

Grading scale:  H/E/S/N


An evaluation of the elective by the student will be set up in E*Value.


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