Dr. Milad Webb's presentation draws attention at NAME

By Lynn McCain | December 12 2019

The National Association of Medical Examiners met recently in Kansas City, MO, for their annual conference. University of Michigan forensic pathologist, Milad Webb, MD, PhD, presented on the critical national shortage of forensic pathologists, as well as pathologists in general. His presentation was highlighted by Dr. Judy Melinek in a MedPage Today article, “Dirty, Smelly, Raw: The Future of Forensic Pathology.”  

Some key points included:

  • To properly cover the national autopsy workload, the country needs 1,100 board-certified forensic pathologists, however, there are currently fewer than 500 working full-time today.
  • Only 41 forensic pathology fellows sat for board exams in 2019.
  • Fewer pathology residency programs are teaching autopsy. 

The question was raised, “If pathology residency programs stop teaching autopsy, then how are we ever going to draw students to the field of forensic pathology, and close that gap between the nationwide demand for the examination of sudden, violent, unexpected deaths, and the supply of doctors qualified to perform them?” What are your thoughts? What are some ways we can attract more students to pathology residency programs, and to forensic pathology in particular? Submit your thoughts to Dr. Milad Webb (miladw@med.umich.edu).