Forensic Pathology 

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Forensic Pathology Residency Training Program overview

Program length: One year
Session dates: July 1 – June 30
Program structure: Series of mandatory and elective rotations as well as weekly didactic sessions
Evaluation methods: Direct observation, written, slide and oral exams, resident portfolio

Forensic Pathology is a medical subspecialty of Anatomical Pathology and General Pathology which applies pathologic principles and methodologies to support the medico-legal and judicial systems in determining cause and manner of death, supporting the investigation of circumstances surrounding deaths, and assisting in the interpretation of post-mortem findings of medico-legal significance; these principles may also be applied to injuries in the living. 

Training takes place at the Ontario Provincial Forensic Pathology Unit (PFPU), where approximately 6300 autopsies per year are conducted. Cases are mainly from the Greater Toronto Area. The PFPU is the central referral facility for many complex autopsies across the province, including homicides, skeletal remains and suspicious infant and child deaths. 

Program structure

The residency is 13 blocks (12-months) in duration divided into rotations as follows: 

  • One block of Transition to Discipline  
  • Three blocks of Foundations of Discipline 
  • Six blocks of  Core of Discipline 
  • Three blocks of Transition to Practice 

The program consists of four major educational components: 

  • performing autopsies and scene visits 
  • observation of autopsies and court testimony 
  • academic half-days 
  • seminars and special events. 

See the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons website for further information regarding forensic pathology training.

How to apply

Eligibility requirements 

You must have completed residency training in an RCPSC-accredited program in General Pathology or Anatomical pathology.  

Application process

Deadline for applications: June 30 of the PGY3 year. For example: June 30, 2020 to begin July 1, 2022.

It is advisable (but not necessary) to undertake an elective prior to submitting your application. 

Send all documentation by email to:

Documents needed. We may request further documentation based on your individual circumstances. 

  1. Completed Application form (PDF)
  2. Cover Letter/Personal Statement 
  3. Curriculum Vitae 
  4. Three reference letters from your postgraduate training program or recent employment to be sent directly via email to the LMP Postgraduate Office ( 
  5. Specialty Certificate from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in General Pathology or Anatomical Pathology. If you plan on completing your Specialty training before the session start date of July 1 in the year you are applying, please have a letter of good standing with your expected completion date sent to the LMP Postgraduate Office from your Program Director. 

Contact us  

Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology 
Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto 
1 King's College Circle, Rm 6231,
Toronto ON, M5S 1A8 

Fax: 416-978-7361

The Forensic Pathology training program in Toronto is reimagining the way forensic pathologists are trained for courtroom testimony. The program, led by Dr. Andrew Williams, incorporates mentorship, mock court sessions, and insights from legal experts to better prepare trainees for their roles as expert witnesses, providing them with valuable experience and a comprehensive understanding of the judicial system.

Deanna Cheng speaks to G. Raymond Chang Forensic Pathology Fellow, Karissa French, about her journey through medicine as a member of the First Nations community, the role of forensic pathology in medicine and her hopes for the future of health care in Canada.