10 Cool Things About Being a Medical Examiner


Better Hours than Other Doctors

If you're in the medical field, there's a lot less pressure when the subjects coming through your door are already dead. Plus, without a life hanging in the balance, work for a medical examiner quite often can be put off until the next day.

While doctors, interns, nurses, EMTs and many other medical professionals are often required to work grueling hours, your local coroner or medical examiner is more likely to keep pretty regular office hours -- Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Depending on the county, the medical examiner may be required to be on-call at times (or even all the time), and increased workloads may require overtime hours. Or the medical examiner may be contacted during off-hours for an especially pressing, controversial or mysterious case. But for the most part, they clock in and clock out at the same time each workday. There may be new work waiting first thing in the morning in the county or hospital morgue, but work remaining at the end of the day can be put on ice until the next day's shift.

If you work in a sparsely populated area, the post may require only part-time hours, which would also allow you to hold down a private practice. And time not spent investigating deaths can, as we'll see next, be spent teaching others how to prevent them.