IU School of Medicine

Elective Title: 45CA710 — PATHOLOGY


The student(s) will participate with the Lake Coroner's Office (LCCO) Pathologists and ancillary staff in investigating, observing, participating, and studying the over 450 autopsy cases per year, including over one-hundred homicide cases. They will be expected to work directly with the Forensic team/ Pathologists on a daily bases and perform external and full autopsies to determine the cause and manner of death. The student(s) will have the opportunities to investigate death scenes with CIS investigators, perform autopsies, observe criminal photographers, crime scene investigators, and detectives. Much knowledge will be gained in anatomy, the determination of cause and manner of death, hospital chart reviews of descendants, obtaining trace evidence analysis which includes finger nail clippings/scrapings, rape kit analysis, DNA analysis, ballistics, gun shot residue, and toxicology/pharmacology analysis. Finally, the student(s) will have the opportunity to observe expert testimony in court by the pathologist, detectives, and CSI personnel.

Elective Details:

Primary Contact for Add/Drops: John Feczko, MDPHD, and Zhuo Wang, MD (John.feczko@porterhealth.com and wangzx@lakecountyin.org)

Director: John Feczko, M.D.

Campus: Northwest-Gary

Location: Northwest

Other Faculty: Dr. Zhuo Wang, a Forensic Pathologist along with numerous ancillary staff.

Learning Objectives

  • 1) Use Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) to determine the cause and manner of death (MK5)
  • 2) Demonstrate skills in dissection of organs and organ systems (PC6)
  • 3) Explain the methodology in the investigation of death scenes and homicide scenes (MK5)
  • 4) Analyze and interpret Toxicology and Pharmacology results (PC4)
  • 5) Evaluate and summarize expert witness testimony (P3)


  • Clinical Performance Evaluation Form (The student(s) will be assessed daily be case observation and skills on prosection, a daily logbook entry on each and every case involvement, and a verbal case presentation at the end of the rotation to the pathologist and ancillary staff of the LCCO).

Enrollment Information

Prerequisites: 3rd or 4th year status

Availability with Max Students per Month:


Duty Hours: 35

Time Distribution: 80% Clinical; 10% Laboratory; 5% Library/Research; 5% Lecture/Seminar

Elective Type Category: CP - Clinical Practice

Notes and Enrollment Information:

THIS ELECTIVE DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE INITIAL SENIOR MATCH All Northwest electives must go thru the Northwest campus coordinators.  Contact Amy Han, PhD  (amyhan@iun.edu or 219-980-6561) or Brittany Miller (millerby@iun.edu or 219-980-6525). The student(s) are expected to drive themselves to the LCCO each day. While at the LCCO, daily transportation to death scenes will be provided.

Third Year Elective? Yes

Interprofessional Skills and Service Learning

Interprofessional Collaborative Skills: None

Service Learning Included: None