Forensic Pathology Rotation

You will spend one month at the Santa Clara County Coroner/Medical Examiner’s office to experience forensics, where you’ll experience the interplay between autopsy and the legal system.  The office is in Santa Clara, approximately 30min from Stanford by car on Highway 280.  There is a conference every morning at 8:30 (sharp!!).  It is attended by the police, the medical examiners, Drs. O’Hara, Nazareno, and Jorden; the autopsy technicians; the secretaries; and you.  The officers will go through the list of cases for the day with their pertinent background history.  After the conference, the cases will be distributed among the medical examiners/technicians.  You will either observe/assist or get your own case.  Unlike performing autopsies at Stanford/VA, much more time is spent documenting pertinent external findings (especially in criminal cases) and relevant fluid collection.  The internal organs are also taken out individually and in the majority of cases, no specimen is evaluated histologically.  There is abundant time to do relevant reading.  There are no weekend obligations for this rotation and due to the overlap of our department morning conferences with the forensics conference, residents are excused from intradepartmental conferences unless otherwise specified.    

Santa Clara County Coroner's Office

Joseph O’Hara, M.D., Ph.D.
Michelle A Jorden, M.D.
Matrina Schmidt, M.D.

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