Have you ever daydreamed about being a medical examiner? Maybe you’re fascinated by the human body, or perhaps you enjoy solving puzzles.
Maybe you’re just a person who likes having their work appreciated and respected by others. Whatever your reasons for wanting to work as a medical examiner, it’s definitely possible just ask me! I’ve been working in this field for over ten years now and am enjoying every minute of it.
I’m doing so well that I’m training my protege to take over my job here someday (and no, not because he’ll have to do all the paperwork). So what advice can I offer if you want to land your dream job in this field? Let’s take a look:
Pay Attention In The Morgue
The best way to learn is by doing, so be sure to ask permission from the coroner or medical examiner who oversees operations in your area.
He or she will be happy to answer any questions you might have about how autopsies are performed, what types of information they reveal about a person’s cause of death, and how different bodies decompose over time.
Meet With Your Mentors Regularly
As you begin your search for a mentor, keep in mind that you’re not just looking for someone who will tell you what to do you’re looking for someone who can help guide your career path. The more senior-level scientists in your field, the better.
This way, they won’t be distracted by their responsibilities and can provide valuable insight into the challenges of being a successful scientist.
When it comes time to meet with mentors regularly, make sure this is something both parties are on board with. You don’t want them thinking that you’re using their time as an excuse not to do any work!
Become A Specialist, Not A Generalist
If you’re interested in becoming a medical examiner, start by looking for jobs in the field. Medical examiners work for the county or state governments and perform death investigations.
They are also known as forensic pathologists, forensic scientists, anthropologists, and odontologists.
In addition to performing autopsies on dead bodies at crime scenes or hospitals (and sometimes even operating on live patients), they help determine the cause of death when it’s not obvious based on an initial investigation.
The job requires extensive training and experience most medical examiners have doctorate degrees from accredited universities like Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Or Harvard University School of Public Health but the pay is generally better than that of an average MD who works in private practice.
Because it comes with benefits like full health coverage for employees’ families as well as retirement plans that usually include defined-benefit pensions that don’t run out once you retire (unlike 401k accounts).
The Medical Examiner’s Office Is Not A Hospital
The medical examiner’s office is not a hospital. It’s a government agency, and it will be your primary workplace. So you must know exactly what the medical examiner does, how he or she does it, and why this is important to you as a potential employee.
The answer: The medical examiner’s job involves taking care of dead bodies to find out how they died and/or whether their deaths were due to natural causes or foul play (murder).
This means examining all of the evidence from death scenes whether at hospitals where people died unexpectedly or at crime scenes where people were killed unlawfully and then using that evidence to determine what happened and who did it.
The ME collects samples from individuals’ bodies as part of his or her investigation into death; these samples are then analyzed in our laboratory facilities here at [organization name].
Develop An Interest In Different Forensic Focuses
It’s tempting to focus on one area of forensic pathology and stick with it, but if you’re not careful this can lead to tunnel vision.
For example: if you’re interested in working for a medical examiner’s office in New York City, then an excellent job opportunity may present itself at the NYC Medical Examiner’s Office.
However, there are other opportunities out there opportunities that may not be as glamorous or high profile but are still worth considering. Some of these lesser-known jobs could provide better work environments or offer more flexibility than those at Manhattan MEs.
So don’t just limit yourself to considering positions with large ME offices like NYC; do your research!
Consider what type of cases you’d like to work on (medical malpractice? homicide? Suicide? and then find the most appropriate location for your interests by doing extensive research on all aspects of this career path before making any decisions about where you want to apply for jobs as a medical examiner.
If You’re Interested In Teaching As Well As Practicing Medicine, Pursue It Sooner Rather Than Later
If you’re interested in teaching as well as practicing medicine, pursue it sooner rather than later.
“Teaching is a real challenge for people who are just starting,” explained Dr. Lechner. “You need to know more about the subject you’re teaching than your students do so that they can ask questions and learn from them.”
To do this effectively, she recommends being able to answer questions within 10 seconds a skill that will come easily with experience and time spent teaching others.
Also, Dr. Lechner warns against waiting too long: “Don’t wait until you’re an attending physician before starting to teach; it’s too late then.”
Don’t Wait For Job Openings Or Post-Residency Fellowship Positions To Become Available
You can’t just wait around for your dream job to fall into your lap. You have to be proactive, and that means following the advice of motivational speakers: if you want something, you have to go get it.
Don’t wait for an opening or post-residency fellowship position to become available. If you’re interested in taking on a medical examiner career, start by researching what’s out there and how the field operates.
Then apply and keep applying, even if it feels hopeless at times. Once you’ve been turned down by one employer, don’t give up hope!
Reapply again later with a new cover letter and resume tailored specifically toward their needs; this might be enough incentive for them to reconsider hiring someone who originally looked like they weren’t quite right for the job.
If all else fails? Start looking elsewhere! There are plenty of opportunities out there you just have to take them head-on instead of waiting passively until they come knocking at your door (unless they do come knocking at your door).
A Good Attorney Will Call On You To Testify In Court
One of the best ways to get experience as a medical examiner is by testifying in court. You will be called on to testify if you want to become a medical examiner, so you must know how to speak effectively in front of juries.
If you’re ready to start learning these skills and preparing yourself for your career as a CSI, consider signing up for classes at MedExact Academy today!
Believe That You Can Do Your Dream Job, And Eventually, You’ll Be Able To
Believe that you can do your dream job, and eventually you’ll be able to. The first step is believing that it’s possible. I know this sounds like a simple concept, but it’s an important one: if you think that your dream job is impossible, then why would anyone else?
If you think “I’m never going to get this position,” then why would they think otherwise? You need to convince yourself before anyone else will believe in what you can do.
When I applied for my position as ME, I had already been working as a medical examiner for six years at another hospital (and had been applying for jobs since graduation).
Despite having significant experience and knowledge in the field of pathology and autopsy procedures, my application was rejected multiple times during the hiring process.
Due to competition from more senior applicants who had more experience than me and were seen as better fits for the positions available at each institution where I interviewed.
After several months of rejection letters and plenty of self-doubts about whether or not becoming an I was even possible given my current situation (both financially and professionally), something happened:
One day while waiting on hold with HR at yet another hospital where I’d submitted my application materials but hadn’t heard back yet after applying several weeks ago…I hung up thinking “I’ve waited long enough! They either want me or they don’t…”
And then something amazing happened: after making some phone calls myself asking questions about their hiring process.
They called me back within minutes saying how impressed they were with all my credentials (including everything listed above) AND offered me an interview right away! A few days later
So, what are you waiting for? The medical examiner’s office is a great place to begin your career.
It can give you all the experience you need to become an expert in forensic pathology, and it will allow you to work with some of the most fascinating cases that come across any pathologist’s desk.
If this sounds like the perfect job for you, then get out there and make it happen!