post-mortem-disaster-victim-identification-forensic-science-standards-foot-toe-tag-morgue

Pathology/Biology

Forensic pathology is the application of the principles of pathology, and of medicine in general, to death investigations. Forensic pathologists perform autopsies to determine what caused a person's death. They are also involved in the investigation of the circumstances surrounding the death and play an important role in public health (i.e. disease and injury prevention.)

james-caruso-md-denver-pathology-biology-section-director-aafs-medical-examiner

I have been an AAFS member since the time of my pathology residency back in the mid-1990s and have attended as many annual meetings as possible. The best feature about the Academy is the opportunity to interact with scientists and experts with tremendously diverse backgrounds. The ability to learn from toxicologists, anthropologists, attorneys, medicolegal death investigators (and the list goes on) is a privilege that is unavailable at other scientific meetings I attend. And since my daily work routine frequently involves these other disciplines, staying current is essential.

- Jim Caruso, MD
Fellow

Hear from a Forensic Pathologist/Biologist

Forensic biology is the application of the life sciences to death investigations in order to help answer questions such as body location, body identification and postmortem interval.  The forensic biologist typically serves as a forensic specialist.   Forensic biology comprises diverse fields such as entomology, genetics, microbiology, ecology, and botany.  

SECTION REQUIREMENTS

Entry Level Categories

Apply

Student Affiliate

Academy Requirements

Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program that would support a forensic science career.

Section Requirements

NOTE: Applicants who have or are planning a career in a biological science without a doctorate degree level and/or in the forensic application of serology or human DNA analysis, should apply to the Criminalistics Section.

  1. AAFS Basic Requirements for Student Affiliate must be fulfilled; and
  2. Must be either a full-time medical student or a student enrolled in a graduate program in a biological science, or
  3. Must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program with the intent of pursuing a career in forensic medicine or a forensic biological science, and
  4. Provide one (1) letter of reference. Reference must be from the department chair, program director, or academic advisor and must be able to confirm the applicant's enrollment status.

Trainee Affiliate

Academy Requirements

  1. Completed the educational requirements, but not the experience requirements for Associate Member
  2. Must be actively working toward completion of the experience requirements through training program/employment that supports a forensic science career 

Section Requirements

NOTE: Applicants who have or are planning a career in a biological science without a doctorate degree level and/or in the forensic application of serology or human DNA analysis, should apply to the Criminalistics Section.

  1. AAFS Basic Requirements for Trainee Affiliate must be fulfilled; and
  2. Must plan to pursue a career in forensic medicine, veterinary medicine, or biological science.

Associate Member

Academy Requirements

  1. Actively engaged in the field of forensic sciences and has made a significant contribution to the cause of advancing forensic science
  2. Earned a baccalaureate or higher academic degree from a U.S. college/university accredited by one of the regional accrediting bodies
  3. Has earned a baccalaureate or higher academic degree from a non-U.S. college or university bearing equivalent accreditation

Section Requirements

  1. AAFS Basic Requirements for Associate Member must be fulfilled; and
  2. Applicants must have earned a medical degree (MD, DO, DVM, or International Equivalent that would permit medical licensure in the United States or Canada), or a PhD in a biological science and have been actively engaged in their field of interest for at least one (1) year; and
  3. Be actively engaged in the field of forensic science, including: forensic medicine, veterinary medicine, or other biological science at the time of application; and
  4. Have made a significant contribution to the literature of forensic sciences, or have been pursuing a course of study as a resident in pathology or the disciplines described in paragraph 3, or have advanced the cause of forensic science in some other significant manner; and
  5. Two (2) letters of reference. References must be full Members or Fellows of the AAFS and must be able to comment knowledgeably on the applicant's qualifications.
  6. Areas of interest within the Pathology/Biology Section include, but are not limited to, the forensic application of:
    1. Botany
    2. Ecology
    3. Entomology
    4. Microbiology
    5. Palynology
    6. Medicine
    7. Veterinary Medicine
SECTION REQUIREMENTS

Promotion Categories

Apply
WHILE SERVING AS AN ASSOCIATE MEMBER

To Member

Academy Requirements

  1. Attendance at the annual conferences and participation in the program
  2. Performs outstanding service in the execution of his/her regular responsibilities
  3. Contributions made to the AAFS or latest advancement as service to forensic science research
  4. Service in the area of forensic science education or training acquired throughout his/her career

Section Requirements

While serving as an Associate Member, the applicant must:

  1. Fulfill the AAFS Basic Requirements for Promotion; and
  2. Register and attend a minimum of two (2) annual meetings of the AAFS and Pathology/Biology Section. The meeting at which the title of Associate Member was conferred, if attended, may be counted; however, the meeting at which the title of Member is being considered shall not be counted, and
  3. Demonstrate active engagement in a field of forensic science including pathology, forensic pathology, forensic medicine, veterinary pathology; or other biological science.

References not required.

WHILE SERVING AS A MEMBER

To Fellow

Academy Requirements 

  1. Attendance at the annual conferences and participation in the program
  2. Performs outstanding service in the execution of his/her regular responsibilities
  3. Contributions made to the AAFS or latest advancement as service to forensic science research
  4. Service in the area of forensic science education or training acquired throughout his/her career

Section Requirements

While serving as a Member, the applicant must:

  1. Fulfill the AAFS Basic Requirements for Promotion; and
  2. Register and attend a minimum of two (2) annual meetings of the AAFS and Pathology/Biology Section. The meeting at which the title of Member was conferred, if attended, may be counted; however, the meeting at which the title of Fellow is begin considered shall not be counted; and
  3. Demonstrate active engagement in a field of forensic science including pathology, forensic pathology, forensic medicine, veterinary pathology, or other biological science; and
  4. Advance the work and purpose of the Pathology/Biology Section by:
    1. Presentation of one (1) or more oral or poster sessions at an annual meeting; or
    2. Publication of one (1) or more articles in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.

References not required.