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Subspecialties Forensics, Profession, Training and education

A Comment on Investigating Death

Thank you to Michael Multan for his insightful article, “On Investigating Death.”

We would like to provide some perspective on the American Board of Pathology (ABPath)’s new certification requirement for 30 autopsies. This change is an interim adjustment until the ABPath autopsy requirement can become competency-based with the use of entrustable professional activities (EPAs). The ABPath recognized that the pathology training curriculum has significantly expanded to include such areas as molecular pathology, informatics, and laboratory management, and therefore reducing the numerical requirement was a reasonable adjustment. Using data from a survey of pathology residency program directors and discussion at a summit with our cooperating societies, ABPath determined that 30 cases are a reasonable number for most residents to achieve competence in autopsy performance. Some residents may require more cases to achieve competency and teaching and service obligations may require residents to perform more than 30 cases.

I hope this helps to clarify the change in certification requirement. If you would like to learn more, please refer to the ABPath website section on the new certification requirement for autopsies.

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About the Author
Rebecca Johnson

Chief Executive Officer of the American Board of Pathology, Tampa, Florida, USA.

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