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Forensic Pathology Fellowship

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), in conjunction with the Shelby County Medical Examiner’s Office and West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center (WTRFC) offers a 1-year forensic pathology fellowship. 

The fellow will perform approximately 250 autopsies under the mentorship of five American Board of Pathology certified forensic pathologists. The WTRFC performs approximately 1,000 autopsies per year for most of the counties west of the Tennessee River. The fellow will encounter a wide variety of cases ranging from traumatic deaths, toxicological deaths and natural deaths. The trainee is expected to gain experience as an expert witness in court proceedings. Being affiliated with the UTHSC Department of Pathology, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and Methodist University Hospital allows consultations in many pathology subspecialties including pediatric pathology, neuropathology and all of the surgical pathology subspecialties, as well as access to medical microbiology and clinical chemistry. A forensic odontologist is on staff at the WTRFC to provide consultation and training in forensic odontology.

A two week course in forensic toxicology is provided at NMS Labs in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. The trainee will attend courses in forensic science at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations in Nashville, Tennessee, and a course in forensic anthropology at the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Research Center at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The fellow will take calls with ABMDI registered death investigators and attend death scenes throughout Memphis, Shelby County and most of West Tennessee. The fellow will attend a national forensic pathology conference and present research performed during the fellowship.


We are now accepting applications for two fellowship positions with the state date of July 1, 2025. This Forensic Pathology Fellowship participates in the NRMP Match Program.

Must have completed AP/CP, AP/NP, or AP (PGY-3) and be eligible for medical licensure in Tennessee.

Application Requirements

  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Current Curriculum Vitae
  • Personal Statement
  • Copy of USMLE Results (Step 1, Step 2 CK, Step 2 CS, and Step 3) or COMLEX Results (Level 1,
  • Level 2 CE, Level 2 PE, and Level 3)
  • Copy of ECFMG Certificate – international graduates only
  • Submit all completed requirements to by Friday, December 1, 2023.

Applicants considered for an appointment will be invited to visit the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center for an in person interview with the Program Director, select faculty, and current fellows. In person interviews will be conducted between November and January each year. No virtual interviews will be offered this year.

Inquiries can be directed to:
Rocio Agundis
Program Manager

Completed applications must be submitted to the Program Manger by Friday, December 1, 2023. All interviews will be conducted in person at the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center.


Year Name Location
2022 Laura Bagwell, MD  
2022 Ibrahim Ortanca, MD West TN Regional Forensic Center, Memphis, TN
2021 Sara Achrati, MD DC Medical Examiner, Washington, DC
2021 Ashly Cordero Rivera, MD Davidson County Medical Examiner, Nashville, TN
2020 Scott Collier, MD West TN Regional Forensic Center, Memphis, TN
2019 Danielle Harrell, MD West TN Regional Forensic Center, Memphis, TN
2019 William Sago, MD West TN Regional Forensic Center, Memphis, TN
2018 Katrina Van Pelt, DO West TN Regional Forensic Center, Memphis, TN
2017 Kevin Jenkins, MD Franklin County Coroner’s Office Columbus, OH

Current Fellow

fellow image
Lyle Christiansen, MD
Medical College of Wisconsin

Why Memphis?

WC Handy StatueMemphis... Home of the Blues... Birthplace of Rock 'n Roll... Barbecue Pork Capital of the World.  Nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River, Memphis is a:

Memphis is also the healthcare hub of the Mid-South.  UTHSC faculty, residents, fellows, and staff can be found at:

There's no better time than now to choose Memphis!

Aug 28, 2023