Forensic Pathology Rotation

Residents participate in a one-month rotation at the Los Angeles County Department of the Medical Examiner-Coroner during the latter part of the program. Residents perform forensic autopsies under the direction of experienced forensic pathologists, and have the opportunity to go to an at-scene examination, accompanying the investigator to the scene of a death.

Case Mix
The coroner’s office handles all manner of cases. Residents participate in natural and accidental death investigations, and may observe suicide and homicide cases.
Rotation Structure

The coroner's office has modern facilities, with many ancillary studies available on a routine basis. Gross and microscopic pathology are covered, and neuropathology consultants hold brain-cutting and consultation sessions each week. Follow-up of cases is provided with faxes of finalized reports sent to the resident for all autopsies in which they participated. Up to 40 autopsies are performed during this rotation, ensuring an overall adequate number of autopsies for board eligibility. Exposure to toxicology laboratory studies is also available during the rotation.

Daily Schedule
  • Cases are assigned in the morning
  • Autopsy is performed and reviewed with the faculty
  • Histologic sections are taken the same or next day and reviewed before the resident signs out with the attending physician
Subspecialty Conferences
  • Weekly didactic lecture — Covers basic forensic pathology
  • Mode conference — Equivocal suicide cases are examined by psychological autopsy
  • Weekly forensic seminars
Research Opportunities

Upon request to the coroner’s office faculty.

Have Questions or Need Help?

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the Anatomic and Clinical Pathology Residency Program at Cedars-Sinai, please call or send a message to Program Coordinator, Chau Nguyen.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
8700 Beverly Blvd., Room 8709
Los Angeles, CA 90048-1804