Medical examiner

A medical examiner is a public official who investigates deaths defined by law as being important to the public health and welfare. These generally include deaths thought to be from other than natural causes but also may include sudden and unexpected deaths determined later at autopsy to be from natural disease or deaths in people who were not under the immediate care of a doctor at the time of death.

Different from coroners, medical examiners must be doctors, most are appointed rather than elected, and many are certified in the specialty of forensic pathology and have expertise in the performance of autopsies.

Last Updated: August 25, 2008

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

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