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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 typically 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 doing autopsies.

Last Revised: April 18, 2013

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

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