Medical examiners (ME), also referred to as coroners, examine cadavers in order to determine the cause of death. Trained in the field of forensic pathology, a medical examiner will deduce the manner of the deceased, be it natural, intentional, or accidental, and are often summoned by a court of law to present their findings in criminal hearings. For this reason, a medical degree and background in anatomical studies, toxicology, biology, to name a few, is required to analyze organs, tissue, and other bodily samples. A supplemental degree in the criminology field is further to the benefit of aspirers of the ME profession.
Skills and Duties
- Perform autopsies on cadavers
- Examine injuries and evidence on the body
- Examine crime scenes
- Collect lab samples for inspection
- Record statements from witnesses
- Testify in civil and criminal legal proceedings
The median salary of a medical examiner in 2017 was $82,500. The pay scale fluctuates according to region.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the medical examiner field is expected to expand by 24% through 2020, proportional to the rate of the healthcare industry's growth as a whole. There is a high rate of competition, however, due to this profession being a centralized niche in the broader medical field.