There has been much interest in deaths due to the severe winter storm which struck our community recently, particularly deaths due directly to the cold weather, or hypothermia deaths. Unfortunately, these types of deaths require a thorough investigation into the relevant environmental conditions as well as assessment of the individual’s underlying health conditions, often including additional laboratory testing. Therefore, these deaths take several weeks to adequately investigate and determine. Thus, the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office does not currently have an accurate count of these types of deaths and may not for some time.
The goal of the Forensic Pathology Fellowship Program is to produce physicians who can function competently and independently as medicolegal investigators. Qualifications for the fellowship position include graduation from an accredited medical school, successful completion of an ACGME accredited residency program in Anatomic Pathology, and the ability to obtain a Texas medical license.
Pathology Residency Program is a one month Forensic Pathology rotation for third and fourth year Pathology residents who have completed the required prerequisite training in autopsy pathology.
The Medical Student Clerkship Rotation is a 2 - 4 week clerkship rotation for fourth year medical students through the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Pathology.
The Investigations internship provides a hands-on learning experience for students who are preparing for a career in the Medicolegal Death Investigation field. The internship program is offered to students who are currently enrolled and are/will be classified as “seniors” at a local university or college, are seeking degrees that require an internship for graduation, and possess a GPA of 3.0 or higher in an appropriate field of study.
The Toxicology Internship is a six (6) week internship provides “hands-on” experience in a toxicology service laboratory. The internship program is offered to graduate students enrolled at a university whose degree program requires an internship for graduation.
High School and College Students
Unfortunately, due to the nature of work done in this facility, as well as staff and space constraints, no training is available to high school students or college students, other than the Investigations Intern or Toxicology Intern positions described above.
Shadowing Medical Examiners (ME) is not permitted, primarily because students are not allowed in the morgue area or at death scenes, and the remainder of the ME workday is performed at a desk, which provides little or no opportunity for a meaningful learning experience.
Students interested in learning more about the field of forensic pathology should explore the websites of the National Association of Medical Examiners or the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. These provide an abundance of information and guidance about the field.
Students interested in becoming physicians and forensic pathologists may make an appointment to discuss the field with the Chief Medical Examiner by calling 210-335-4000.