A Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties

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For the current requirements for certification, please see the Booklet of Information.   August 27, 2020

  • The applicant must have 48 months of full-time training in an accredited AP/CP program. Training must include at least 18 months each of structured AP and CP training. The remaining 12 months is flexible and may include AP and/or CP rotations. Training may include up to 6 months of research completed during the pathology training program with the approval of the program director. Applicants for the spring examination must complete their training by July 1 of the year of application. Applicants for the fall primary examinations must complete their training by November 1 of the year of application.
  • The applicant must have completed at least 30 autopsies by the time the application for certification is submitted.
  • A list of completed autopsies must be uploaded with the application. The autopsy list must include age group, gender, primary pathology diagnosis (e.g. as would be reported on a death certificate) and PGY year the autopsy was performed. Age group must be listed as: fetal; infant (up to 12 months); child (1-12 years); adolescent (13-18) years and adult (>18 years). For residents who have trained in an ACGME accredited program, the ABPath will only accept an uploaded copy of your ACGME autopsy log, which must include the elements listed above. DO NOT include FNA’s, bone marrow biopsies, or other logged procedures. RCPSC trained residents may upload the ABPath Autopsy form. An autopsy submission form is available below.
  • All autopsies, except forensic cases, must have a signed consent form.
  • In order to report an autopsy to the ABPath, the applicant must have actively participated in the following (as appropriate to the case):
    • review of the clinical history and circumstances of death
    • external examination of the body
    • gross dissection, including organ evisceration
    • review of the microscopic and laboratory findings
    • preparation of a written description of gross and microscopic findings
    • development of an opinion as to the cause of death
    • clinical-pathologic correlations
    • review of the autopsy report with a faculty member
  • The ABPath policy on the use of fetal autopsies (effective 2013) to satisfy the 30 autopsy requirement.
    • A fetal autopsy is defined as one that is performed on a fetus dying in-utero or born dead.
    • There must be a signed autopsy consent form for the autopsy. An anatomic disposal permit is not acceptable.
    • The fetus should be intact. Gross and microscopic examination of the placenta must be part of the autopsy report.
    • No more than 5 fetal autopsies that have no anatomic, congenital, infectious, or genetic abnormalities (Final Anatomic Diagnosis = intra-uterine fetal demise) can count toward the 30 required autopsy cases.
    • Macerated fetuses can only count for 2 of the 5 fetal autopsies with a diagnosis of intrauterine fetal demise.
  • The ABPath reserves the right to audit autopsy cases submitted by applicants as part of the certification requirements.
  • Candidates for combined AP/CP certification will not be certified by the ABPath until both the AP and the CP examinations are passed and all other requirements are met.


AUTOPSY FORM- The ACGME autopsy log needs to be completed and uploaded with the application. 

The ACGME autopsy log is located on the ACGME website under "Specialty Specific Reports".The log includes age group, gender, primary diagnosis (as would be reported on a death certificate), and PGY year the autopsy was performed. Do not include any identifying information on the log (e.g. case#, medical record#), this would be a violation of HIPPA.

The ACGME autopsy log will look like the sample log below:


RCPSC trained residents only-  Select the link below to access the ABPath autopsy form.

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