Forensic Pathology Fellowship

Forensic Pathology training at USF is conducted by the faculty at the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Department in Tampa. Hillsborough County has a population base of 1,200,000, encompasses 1072 square miles, and has its seat in the City of Tampa. The County performs 1600 death investigations per year, over 1100 of which involve autopsies.

Mission and Emphasis

The mission of the program is to provide training in forensic pathology that will equip the incumbent to successfully complete the forensic pathology examination given by the American Board of Pathology; and to practice as a medical examiner or coroner's pathologist or to enter academic practice as the director of the autopsy service of a teaching hospital. The emphasis in this program is on the acquisition of analytical and cognitive abilities of a caliber to permit the graduate to function as a consultant to the legal, academic medical and practicing medical communities, and to effectively incorporate new knowledge into practice patterns in later years.

Required Rotations

A fellow can expect to perform over 200 autopsies during the course of the year, testify in numerous depositions, and toward the end of the year, testify in court (murder trials in Hillsborough County come to trial anywhere from 6 months to a year and a half after arrest). Each fellow spends two weeks at the Tampa Regional Crime Laboratory of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and attends a week-long course in forensic anthropology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and spends two weeks in the toxicology section of the Medical Examiner Department.

Appointment and Conferences

Each fellow has a statutory appointment as Associate Medical Examiner, conducts scene investigations, performs autopsies, and signs his or her own reports. Our teaching program includes case supervision and daily teaching conferences; including fixed brains and hearts, journal discussion, and case discussion.

Scene Investigations

Hillsborough County medical examiners go to the scenes of all homicides, all infant deaths, some suicides, and all industrial accidents when there has been no hospital treatment; and to any other scenes that they elect. They regularly participate in the morbidity and mortality conference of the USF Department of Surgery.

Physical Plant

The autopsy room, coolers, toxicology laboratory and offices of the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Department are housed in a spacious new state-of-the-art three-building complex at 11025 North 46th Street, Tampa, near the medical school.

Geography

Tampa is situated at the head of Tampa Bay, and is the cultural and financial center of a metropolitan area of 2.5 million people spread over several counties. The urban core is surrounded by suburbs, cattle ranches, citrus groves, tropical fish farms, and phosphate mines. This diverse geography makes for a rich case mix. Because Hillsborough County is only 30 miles square, medical examiners can easily make personal appearances at death scenes anywhere in the jurisdiction. Because of the favorable climate, scene investigations are not made unpleasant by winter weather.

Selection of Candidates, Starting Dates, and Compensation

The fellowship starts July 1. Preference is given to candidates who will have completed required training in Anatomical Pathology in a program accredited by the ACGME. The salary is $95,000. Benefits are described on the USF website at http://www.hsc.usf.edu/housestaff/new/current.htm.

Faculty

  • Mary Mainland, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin, 1995. AP, CP, FP. Chief Medical Examiner and Assistant Professor . Special interests in child abuse, suicide and autopsy reporting
  • Leszek Chrostowski, MD, Medical University of Gdansk, 1988. AP, FP. Associate Medical Examiner and Assistant Professor. Special interest in autopsy techniques
  • Kelly Devers, MD, George Washington University, Assistant Professor (pending). Special interest: neuropathology
  • Laura Hair, MD Ohio State University 1986. AP, NP, FP. Associate Medical Examiner and Assistant Professor. Special interests in neuropathology of impact trauma, and differentiation of dementias
  • Julia Pearson, PhD, Michigan State University, 1996. Assistant Professor. Chief Forensic Toxicologist
  • Erin Kimmerle, PhD, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, 2004. Assistant Professor of Anthropology
  • Curtis Wiencker, PhD University of Arizona 1975. Professor of Anthropology (emeritus)

For further information contact:

Dr. Mary Mainland
11025 North 46th Street,
Tampa, FL 33617

Telephone: 813-914-4500
E-mail: marymainland@hillsboroughcounty.org