Difference between Forensic Pathologist and Medical Examiner


It is an intricate task to find out the reason for the death of an individual occurred in any suspicious condition. Those who are experts in finding out the exact biological reason for the death are known as medical examiners. They perform autopsies and examine the internal parts of the dead body to find out the exact reason which cause the death of the individual. Forensic Pathologists comes under the category of Medical Examiners who perform laboratory tests on the tissues taken from the dead body and investigate on the cause of the death including its motivation. They usually deal with the criminal cases unlike other medical examiners who concentrate only on the biological reason for death.

Forensic Pathologist and its opportunities

Forensic Pathologists can find many opportunities in private or government investigative agencies. Law enforcement agencies also offer lucrative career opportunities for the Forensic Pathologists. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) of Indian government also hire the service of Forensic Pathologists. They can also work in various Forensic Science Laboratories. CBI recruits the candidates to their Forensic Science Laboratory through the exam held by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Medical Examiner and its opportunities

Medical Examiners are usually employed in health care facilities and hospitals. They are responsible for examining the dead body externally and internally for finding the exact cause for the death. They make reports on the conclusion of death and hand it over to the legal authorities so as to testify it in the court. Therefore the medical examiners are very much needed in every hospital to handle the legal proceedings related to the unusual death. Medical examiners can thus find many career opportunities in private and government hospitals.

Key difference between Forensic Pathologist and Medical Examiner

  • Forensic Pathologists are a kind of Medical Examiner who concentrates on the laboratory tests rather than performing autopsies to examine internal organs.
  • Only MBBS degree is required to become a Medical Examiner but Forensic Pathologists should have a MBBS degree and MD in Forensic Medicine.

Forensic Pathologists can become a Medical Examiner or they can pursue their career in other suitable fields. But such options are not available for a Medical Examiner.



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