Dr. Christopher Tape grew up in Los Alamos in Northern New Mexico surrounded by mountains and canyons. He learned to play ice hockey, and snow ski, as well as white water raft with the Explorer Post 20.
College at the University of Colorado was relatively easy after being in one of the most competitive public-school systems in America. Summers were spent studying, training to be a wildland firefighter, as well as being a professional whitewater raft guide on the Arkansas River. Upon an epiphany, Dr. Tape switched majors from physics to biology to go to med school to become a doctor.
The path to medical school wasn’t easy, requiring persistence. After college Dr. Tape worked as a graduate research assistant biochemist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and then went to Wisconsin to pursue love and clinical experience. He became a nursing assistant working in ‘dementia wards’ in nursing homes first in Stoughton, WI, and then in Santa Fe NM. Upon returning to NM, he volunteered with the Agua Fria Fire Department, while taking classes at the community college including getting an EMT-Intermediate certification.
Medical school was at the University of New Mexico where Dr. Tape first observed a forensic autopsy and decided to become a forensic pathologist. A residency in anatomic and clinical pathology was completed at the University of Vermont where Dr. Tape did multiple forensic pathology rotations, including a month in Manhattan at the NYOCME.
A yearlong fellowship in forensic pathology was completed at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, including supplemental training at the Virginia Forensic Academy.
After training, Dr. Tape came to Louisiana in 2010 to work as a forensic pathologist for a private, independent company called Louisiana Forensic Center, LLC. In 2019 Dr. Tape bought the company and ran it successfully throughout the pandemic, finally selling the company back in 2022.
During Dr. Tape’s time at the Forensic Center, he performed over 4000 autopsies and testified over 100 times as an expert in forensic pathology, including cold cases and high-profile cases. Dr. Tape has performed autopsies for over 20 different parish coroners, as well as hospitals, and private cases, including second autopsies.
In the spring of 2023, the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office offered Dr. Tape a job and he gladly accepted. He is excited to bring his expertise in forensic pathology as well as business experience to the office. Dr. Tape is uniquely qualified to recognize the benefits of a well-funded, well-run office and how important this is to recruit and retain forensic pathologists and other experts. Dr. Tape had career choices available and chose St. Tammany.
Dr. Tape loves to spend time with his family including his kids, cats, and dogs.
Suicide prevention is one of Dr. Tape’s professional goals. He lost an uncle to suicide and saw the never ending affect it had in the family.