Pathologist shortage poses concern about autopsies

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - A published report says some Texas medical examiners rely on medical school interns, unlicensed doctors and others with questionable expertise - even in capital murder cases.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Wednesday that some offices use work by physicians who repeatedly failed certification exams or were disciplined for poor work. Growing caseloads and a shortage of licensed forensic pathologists could be to blame.

Texas requires only that medical examiners have a license to practice medicine, which some say is a dangerously low standard.

The National Association of Medical Examiners says a full-time forensic pathologist shouldn't exceed 250 autopsies a year. Some Texas examiners far exceed that limit and say their caseloads are unrelenting.
Information from: Fort Worth Star-Telegram,

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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