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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.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Last Revised April 18, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 18, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.