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10 Cool Things About Being a Medical Examiner


Let's face it -- we'd all like to have a job that's prominently featured in police-procedural TV shows (other than that of the landlord whose tenant mysteriously died, that is). Imagine the self-satisfaction you'd feel creating a sense of awe in others as you tell everyone within earshot of the television, "That's what I do for a living."

There are many cool things about being a coroner or medical examiner, and prestige is one of them. When there's a high-profile death, everyone must wait for you to announce the official cause. And until that announcement comes, the rest of us have to wait, wonder and blindly speculate.

In the case of singer Michael Jackson's death, the Los Angeles medical examiner required more than half a year to complete a full report, and barely a day went by when the nature of Jackson's death wasn't discussed in the press. When the report was completed, its findings -- that Jackson died of an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol that was administered by his own personal physician -- made headlines worldwide and led to charges against Jackson's physician.

Along with the prestige comes elbow room. Nobody can rush a coroner or medical examiner's investigation, or interfere with its outcome -- the examiner must be left alone to do his or her extremely cool job.