How To Become a Medical Examiner

How To Become a Medical Examiner In 2024-Full Guide

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We are bringing you the full guide on how to become a medical examiner, knowing fully well that the demand for medical examiners is expected to increase in 2024. Do you know that almost two individuals pass away every every second? Would you like to work with professionals to solve mysteries of untimely death?

After that, have a seat and study this comprehensive guide to becoming a medical examiner. You can learn more about medical examiners in this page, including who they are, what they do, how much they make, and all the requirements.

People pass away every two minutes, and one of these deaths has an unknown cause. Thus, medical examiners, also called coroners, conduct a detailed investigation of a deceased person to ascertain the exact time and reason for their death. Because of the high need for their skills, becoming certified as one has many advantages.


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How To Become a Medical Examiner In 2024-Full Guide

Exactly who is a medical examiner?

In reality, a medical examiner is a person with formal pathology training who conducts post-mortem exams on victims of unique or suspicious circumstances and, in some countries, opens inquests.

These experts examine the remains of the deceased to ascertain the cause of a sudden and unexpected death as well as the manner of death. Along with issuing a death certificate, a medical examiner also compiles records on people who have passed away.

They are typically expected to become doctors first, which means they must complete medical school before obtaining additional credentials. Also, they must cooperate closely with law enforcement authorities in order to properly carry out their duties.


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Are medical examiners and forensic medical examiners the same thing?

Indeed, a forensic medical examiner and a medical examiner are the same. He is also known by the title of forensic pathologist.

A forensic medical examiner is a medical specialist who performs autopsies on the corpses of deceased individuals to ascertain the cause and manner of death. The results of an autopsy reveal the cause of death.

It follows the same process to become a forensic medical examiner as it does to become a medical examiner.


How To Become a Medical Examiner


What is the length of the medical examiner training program?

It takes roughly 4 years to become a forensic medical examiner.

You must complete prerequisite undergraduate coursework, medical school, a pathology residency, and a forensic pathology fellowship in order to become a medical examiner.

What is the length of training to become a medical examiner? After high school, it takes roughly 12–14 years to become a medical examiner.

A four-year bachelor’s degree, four years of medical school, a four-year residency program, and a one-year forensic pathology fellowship are all necessary to become a forensic pathologist, according to Purdue University. 13 years of education and training are represented by these.

Be aware that certain jurisdictions do not mandate forensic examiners to have formal medical training. Nonetheless, obtaining a license to practice and earning a bachelor’s degree in a natural scientific discipline are prerequisites.


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What do medical examiners actually perform?

These experts, who are forensic pathologists with medical training, are summoned to look into any death that could have an impact on the general population. A medical examiner therefore begins investigating the tissues, organs, cells, and body fluids of the deceased when he learns of a death with an undetermined cause.

In order to pinpoint the precise cause of death, he also analyzes the information acquired. Because they are experts in DNA and blood analysis, their skills are essential in investigations into violent crimes and rape.

Also, these experts research trends, gather information, and write reports based on their prior research in a culture. Although they do the majority of their work in the lab, they may also visit the crime site to gather data and testify in court once they have produced their report.


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Where can I find employment as a medical examiner?

Pathology experts are medical examiners. But, before entering this sector, you must be a licensed physician. You can work for a variety of organizations depending on your interests and other certifications. As a lab technician, consulting physician, or resident forensic pathologist at hospitals.

Also, you could work as a private investigator for law enforcement authorities or for NGOs that fight against crimes like domestic abuse and sexual assault. Moreover, government organizations, morgues, and medical institutions can need your services.


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Where do I get a degree to Become a Medical examiner?

You need to be a doctor before you can work as a medical examiner. You must first graduate from medical school and obtain your MD or DO. Also, professional organizations created especially for medical examiners may certify you once you graduate from medical school.

These organizations include the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the National Association of Medical Examiners (AAFS). You can also enroll in additional forensic psychology, biology, and chemistry focus courses to develop or strengthen your profession.

Also, authorized universities provide both traditional and online degrees in medicine. Yet these are the best universities to study medicine.

How To Become a Medical Examiner

An assistant to a medical examiner is who?

These helpers assist with autopsies and collect organs and tissue for examination. They cannot be used on the dead, though. They are employed by federal, state, and municipal government organizations to help medical examiners conduct post-mortem examinations on deceased individuals to ascertain the precise cause of death.

These assistants must also have a working grasp of ballistics, microscopy toxicology, and pathological anatomy. In addition, Technical writing skills and physical strength are also given into consideration during work. Also, state boards require medical examiner assistants to obtain licenses.

They must have credentials in anatomic pathology or anatomic and clinical pathology in order to be licensed by the American Board of Pathology. Also, the employment rate for this professional is predicted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to rise by 6% in 2022, which is slower than the average for all occupations. Around $36 915 is the average amount they take home each year.


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What will my salary as a medical examiner be?

Before choosing a job path, it’s crucial to take into account the prospective earnings of the career. The salary for medical examiners is not set in stone. Your income is primarily determined by your current job, city, and qualifications, alongside years of experience.

Yet, Payscale estimates that the average compensation for the 28 medical examiners who disclosed their pay is $72,414 per year. Also, considering current job postings, medical examiners’ salaries in several US cities are

  • Virginia: $75, 387-$154,719
  • Georgia: $139, 230-$162,792
  • California: $ 185, 848-$261, 534
  • Las Vegas: $119, 870-$185,785
  • New York: $147,857
  • Texas $174,627


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How can I apply to work as a medical examiner?

1. Pass the high school exam

The first step to how to become a medical examiner is to put up a lot of effort and perform exceptionally in your high school curriculum. In order to avoid difficulties at the following level, the fundamentals of what you need to learn must be properly grasped in high school. Pay attention in science classes such as biology, chemistry, and others.


2. Enroll in a bachelor’s program

Upon graduating from high school, the next step on is to enroll for an undergraduate degree. It is crucial to remember that applying to medical school is quite difficult. You must therefore select a pre-medical track with a biology and chemistry major.

Enrolling is insufficient. You must have a grade point average that meets the requirements for medical school when you graduate from an authorized institution or university.


3. Graduate School of Medicine

This is a significant task that will help you achieve your goals. Because there is a highly competitive application process, you must take it seriously. You must be ready to submit a full transcript of all of your coursework, letters of recommendation, a statement of intent, and your MCAT results.

You must also pay attention and pursue challenging courses with enthusiasm. Advanced anatomy, physiology, and microbiology as well as clinical application and bedside manner are all covered in these courses.

To achieve your MD or DO, complete your clinical rotations and enroll in any available forensics and pathology courses (Doctor of Osteopathy). The program you enrolled in will determine the certification you receive.


How To Become a Medical Examiner


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4. Prepare your medical license

After completing medical school, you must take and pass any applicable board exams in your state of residency. These tests will be taken three times. A residency year, one at the start of the second year, and the final one following final examinations.

In fact, before submitting a license application, you should think about where you want to live and work. This is due to the possibility that different cities may have different criteria. Thus, gather the necessary information for your chosen state of residence, apply, and obtain your license.


5. Completion of Pathology Residency

Although no residency school focuses on a medical examiner profession, you should complete a residency in the pathology speciality. It is important to sign up for and finish any residencies that include forensic pathology and autopsies as required course requirements. As residency will take you three years to complete, you must truly learn to nurture patience as a virtue.




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6. Get certifications from accredited organizations

In fact, if you make it to this stage, becoming a medical examiner is just one step away. Apply to the American Board of Pathology or any other organization recognized to issue medical licenses, albeit, after completing your residency or fellowship in anatomical or forensic pathology.

Apply to the group and governmental entities who require your services now that you are prepared to work as a medical examiner. Medical examiners are typically appointed by a chief medical examiner, though a local society may also propose them.


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