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Assistant Medical Examiner(Temp)
City and County of San Francisco OCME, CA

Salary: $89.35 - $125.74 / hour

Final Filing Date: Continuous

Position Description:
Under the administrative, legal and medical supervision and direction of the Chief Medical Examiner, incumbents in this class perform difficult and specialized professional medical work in the field of forensic medicine, which requires advanced and specialized education, training and experience. The duties of the class involve the evaluation of injuries and evidence in the living and the medicolegal investigation of death. This position is distinguished from other medical specialties by the required specific training and experience and American Board of Pathology board certification in the subspecialty of forensic pathology. Incumbents in this class serve as an Assistant Medical Examiner in accordance with state law. May supervise Medical Examiner’s Investigators, Medical Examiner’s Investigative Assistants, residents, fellows during scene investigations; may supervise Forensic Autopsy Technicians, residents, fellows, Medical Examiner’s Investigative Assistants during the medicolegal autopsy; and may supervise Medical Examiner’s Investigators during the continued investigation of a case. California Government Code 27530 states that in the absence of the Chief Medical Examiner, Medical Examiner’s Administrator, Medical Examiner Investigators and Assistant Medical Examiners may discharge the duties of the Chief’s Office.


  • Performs forensic autopsies and examinations in accordance with the standards of the National Association of Medical Examiners and the policies of the San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner;
  • examines tissue and evidence recovered at autopsy;
  • aids the Chief Medical Examiner in the determination of the cause, circumstances and manner of death, as required by law.
  • Maintains knowledge of current professional standards related to the performance of forensic autopsies and the interpretation of findings by review of forensic journals, professional training and conferences.
  • Utilizing the principles of Forensic Medicine, Criminalistics and the Forensic Sciences, and in accordance with recognized professional and legal standards, examines deceased or living individuals either at the scene or other facilities for the purpose of determining the timing, nature, and age of injuries;
  • interprets, documents and collects evidence potentially appropriate to criminal or other proceedings;
  • performs forensic autopsies and examinations;
  • examines tissues removed during those procedures in the preparation of microscopic reports along with the appropriate interpretations of the pathologic and toxicology data necessary to determine the cause and manner of death.
  • Ensures that all assigned staff is compliant with blood borne pathogen regulations, biohazard, injury and illness prevention safety standards and forensic safety requirements.
  • Reviews detailed and complex medical records, x-rays and photographs for the purpose of interpreting the medical data as it relates to the legal issues of a particular case.
  • Confers with, and at the direction and approval of the Chief Medical Examiner, documents medical findings and prepares clear, concise and effective written report or communications;
  • speaks in a clear and understandable manner appropriate to the understanding of audience or jury;
  • listens and effectively elicits information;
  • sets task priorities and coordinates the work schedule with the Forensic Autopsy Technicians and Medical Examiner’s Investigative Assistants in a logical and productive manner;
  • trains and monitors the performance of staff, residents, fellows and/or other physicians in the safe performance of legal medicine and forensic autopsies and examinations,
  • uses a computer to access and input information as well as to prepare written documents and reports of examinations and findings,
  • use of digital photographic and radiology equipment.


  • Graduation from an approved medical school and possession of a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree; AND
  • Completion of a residency program approved by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education in anatomic or anatomic and clinical pathology; AND
  • American Board of Pathology Certification in anatomic or anatomic and clinical pathology; AND
  • Possession or eligibility to obtain a valid license as a Physician and Surgeon issued by the Medical Board of California; AND
  • Possession of or eligibility to sit for the examination in the subspecialty of forensic pathology issued by the American Board of Pathology. With the loss of eligibility to sit for the specialty examination, the individual would be considered no longer qualified for the position of Assistant Medical Examiner; AND
  • Possession and maintenance of a California valid driver’s license, class C or higher, at the time of appointment.
  • DESIREABLE QUALIFICATIONS: Specialized training or American Board of Pathology board certification in Pediatric Pathology, Cardiac Pathology or Neuropathology.


  • Nature of duties may require sustained physical effort involving manual skill and dexterity, physical ability to lift dead bodies and remove them from the scene of death, and 24-hour “on call” availability to respond to scenes of sudden death or injuries.
  • Work environments may entail exposure to physical, chemical and/or biological health hazards; unpleasant odors or conditions; frequent exposure to sudden, unexpected and sometimes violent deaths; and exposure to disagreeable elements or situations inherent in this specialized field.


  • In accordance with State of California Penal Code Section 830.35, the Assistant Medical Examiners are peace officers.
  • Applicants must qualify for peace officer status as set forth in State of California Government Code Section 1031 and must pass a peace officer’s background investigation prior to appointment.

How to apply: Apply online.

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Posted: September 6, 2013

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