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10 Cool Things About Being a Medical Examiner


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Opportunity to Teach
Medical examiners share their expertise by training the next generation of doctors, nurses and even criminal investigators.
Medical examiners share their expertise by training the next generation of doctors, nurses and even criminal investigators.
©iStockphoto.com/AndreasReh

If you're a medical student, there's a local cache of cadavers down at the medical examiner's office waiting to tell their story, but the story must be passed through the mind and mouth of the medical examiner.

In order to help prevent death, medical students must know how it occurs, and an excellent candidate for explaining this is a working medical examiner. One couldn't ask for a better or more current cache of real-life (or rather, real-death) examples.

Many medical examiners are called upon to teach future doctors and nurses -- and even criminal investigators -- about causes of death, detecting said causes, and the effects on the human body of diseases, lifestyle choices and foul play. Many high school students also tour coroners' offices, either as part of biology or other science curriculum, or possibly as a "scared straight" type of program. For the coroner or medical examiner who'd always felt an urge to teach, getting to do just that is an excellent perk of the job.

But getting a job and keeping it can be two very different things. We'll find out how secure a gig as a coroner or medical examiner really is in the next section.


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