How to become a medical examiner

  • A medical examiner is one of the practitioners of forensic pathology. Often, they are involved in examining,  investigating and determining the death of a person. They are involved in autopsies like coroners. A medical examiner is a licensed medical doctor and holder of a certification in forensic pathology.

  • Medical examiner Requirements

    Education, experience, certification and training play important roles for a future medical examiner.

    The education of a medical examiner starts in college, with focus on medical sciences like anatomy, biology, statistics and other related field. These subjects will help in preparation when the student takes the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Medical science subjects will also prepare the student for the medical field once passing the test.

    Once the student passes the MCAT test, attending medical school is the next step. In addition to exam results, students are also required to pass their college transcripts and letters of recommendations. Other admission requirements may also require application to the American Medical College Application Service and interview for medical school.

    Studies in medical school will require studying anatomy, immunology and physiology. Laboratory work, training and lectures should also to be expected. Subjects like patient care, comprehensive medicine, clinical fundamentals and ethics will also be covered. Medical school will also expose students to the realistic settings of medical work like diagnosing and treating patients under the supervision of licensed doctors.

    Time in medical school will shift to residency. In the case of future medical examiners, they are required to put in four years or more as part of their training. They will be in clinics and hospitals, mastering in clinical pathology, anatomic pathology or even both. Residency can also expose training in autopsy, medical microbiology and pathology. Doing research and attending medical conferences in autopsy and pathology is part of the experience.

    The last phase is getting the license. Getting a medical examiner’s license varies from state to state. Certification is also a viable option for future success.

    How Long Does it Take to become a Medical Examiner

    As an aspiring medical examiner, it will take time to become a college student to a certified one.

    A college degree will take four years of studying before graduation. After graduation,  the student must enter medical school. Medical school can span for four years. The first two years will be dedicated to studying academics while the last two years will be preparation for the student for clinical training.

    Residency is an essential part and the longest time for medical examiner preparation.  A aspiring medical examiner chooses the route best for him in this time.  Residencies usually takes three to five years, depending on the route selected.

    A residency can be divided into study of anatomic pathology or clinical pathology in four years. Some prefer to undergo both and divide their time. Both types of pathology will be excellent for people who wish to involve in crime autopsies and investigations.

    Other studies like laboratory medicine, toxicology, neuropathology and other related fields, which can be included using time management.

    Apart from study, residency is also the important time to interact with seasoned and professional examiners. These professionals will be the best people to offer advice or guidance in one’s future career.