The overworked pathologist

Why is this pathologist doing almost 1,800 autopsies a year?

According to his comments on the stand, he performs anywhere from 1,500 to 1,800 autopsies a year. The National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) says a medical examiner should perform no more than 250 autopsies per year. After 325, the organization refuses to certify an examiner’s practice.

“You can’t do it,” says Vincent DiMaio, author of Forensic Pathology, widely considered the profession’s guiding textbook. “After 250 autopsies, you start making small mistakes. At 300, you’re going to get mental and physical strains on your body. Over 350, and you’re talking about major fatigue and major mistakes.”