New Job Assistant Medical Examiner In Iowa



Company : Polk County, IA
Salary : $190,000 - $200,000 a year
Location : Iowa

Full Description

Under the oversight of the Chief Medical Examiner, performs responsible medicolegal autopsies and duties in accordance with sections 331.801 through 331.805 of the Iowa Code. Exercises considerable independent judgment and professional knowledge of medicine and forensic pathology.

Illustrative Examples of Work

  • Reviews reports of death received from hospitals, private physicians, and law enforcement agencies and determines jurisdiction of cases; issues preliminary report of cause of death in cases where further investigation is not required; prepares certificates of cause of death and releases body for burial; issues cremation permits.
  • Reports to the scene of death or discovery of remains as required to provide professional assistance. Supervises medical investigators performing death scene investigations; examines body and surroundings; determines the need for a complete postmortem examination and orders bodies removed to the office of the Medical Examiner. Ensures proper handling of organs, tissues, bodies, items found on or around the body, and collection of unclaimed bodies.
  • Oversees the activities of the administrative, investigative, and autopsy staff and provides assistance and guidance as required.
  • Performs medicolegal autopsies/examinations; oversees and/or conducts death scene investigations to determine the cause/manner of death; evaluates microscopic materials, examines evidence, photographs, and medical records, prepares written autopsy protocols; directs the activities of staff in preparing bodies for autopsy; examines injuries and other conditions of the body. Photographs the body prior to, during, and subsequent to post-mortem examination; reviews current literature in the field and researches histories of prior cases for background information in formulating decisions.
  • Explains cause of death to relatives of the deceased, law enforcement agencies, and the County Attorney; furnishes the County Attorney and law enforcement officials with medical/scientific evidence; testifies in court or at depositions as an expert witness.
  • Provides assistance to law enforcement agencies operating within the County by drawing blood for alcohol/drug analysis and obtaining specimens for laboratory testing in cases of alleged sexual assault.
  • Makes presentations to the Board of Supervisors and community groups on Medical Examiner issues. Assists in preparation of reports of the activities of the department.
  • Attends training/conferences as required to maintain certification and to remain current on trends/issues in forensic pathology; participates in state/local forensic organizations and programs to provide input, increase knowledge in forensics, and maintain recognition for the quality of the Polk County Medical Examiner services.
  • Coordinates departmental activities with law enforcement agencies, court officials, and the State Medical Examiner; represents the County in contacts with civic groups, other governmental agencies, and the media.
  • Assists in the proper maintenance, handling of records, and storage of specimens/evidence according to forensic principles and office policies; maintains complete records of all relevant information concerning deaths/crimes requiring investigation by the Medical Examiner’s Office.
  • Performs the various duties of the Chief Medical Examiner in their absence.
  • Performs related duties as required.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of the procedures involved in detecting, analyzing, evaluating, and interpreting manifestations and symptoms of physical conditions from postmortem pathological examinations.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of general medicine/surgery and the proper disposal of contagious and/or infectious materials and waste.
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and local statutes and regulations pertaining to County Medical Examiner operations.
  • Knowledge of established procedures for receiving, storing, and releasing of bodies.
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices, instruments, and methods used in the collection and processing of post-mortem evidence.
  • Knowledge of microscopy, toxicology, ballistics, and investigative techniques as they relate to forensic pathology.
  • Knowledge of the rules of evidence in criminal law as they apply to the preservation of specimens from post-mortem examinations and examination of physical evidence.
  • Knowledge of statistical methods and /procedures.
  • Knowledge of photographic techniques used in evidence examination and courtroom presentations.
  • Knowledge of scientific research methods and procedures.
  • Skill in performing medicolegal autopsies and death scene investigations.
  • Ability to use microscopes, surgical tools, and other equipment in medical examination investigations.
  • Ability to detect, analyze, evaluate, and interpret manifestations and symptoms of physical condition from pathological examinations and solve complex problems arising from examinations/autopsies.
  • Ability to testify as an expert witness.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, verbally and in writing, to groups and individuals.
  • Ability to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with public officials, State Medical Examiner, law enforcement, County Attorney, medical professionals, representatives of the media, county staff, and the general public.

Training and Experience

  • Graduation from an accredited school of Medicine or Osteopathy, licensed to practice medicine in the State of Iowa, and Board certified or eligible to be certified in Anatomic and Forensic Pathology by the American Board of Pathology.
  • Become Board certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic and Forensic Pathology within two years of appointment.
  • Experience as an Assistant Medical Examiner or Assistant Forensic Pathologist is preferred.
  • A criminal background check is required.
  • A drug screen is required prior to final offer of employment.

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