Pathology is a branch of medicine that determines the nature and course of a disease by analyzing body tissues and fluids. Anatomic pathologists perform autopsies and analyze tissue material taken from patients. Clinical pathologists diagnose disease by measure chemicals and cells in blood, bone marrow, urine, and other bodily materials.

The medical examiner is usually the first forensic specialist to investigate a crime. The ME decides on the need for an autopsy, and investigates all deaths from violence, accidents, suicides, or suspicious circumstances. The medical examiner is a pathologist.