Deputy Chief Medical Examiner

US Government, Institute of Forensic Sciences

The Deputy Chief Medical Examiner oversees Medical Examiner Divisions (Pathology, Morgue, Histology, Anthropology, and Investigations) ensuring statutory requirements are met, and medicolegal death investigation activities are in compliance with various applicable national accreditation standards; conducts medicolegal death investigations pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 49.25, including external examination of decedents and complete autopsies, with appropriate evidence collection; provides testimonial evidence in court regarding medicolegal death investigations and evidence collected from bodies; teaches trainees (medical residents, medical students, pathology residents, forensic pathology fellows, nursing students) about various aspects of medicolegal death investigation.
Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Supervises staff within the Pathology Division as well as the Directors of the Investigations, Morgue & Histology, Anthropology & Emergency Management, and Forensic Imaging Divisions.
  • Ensures compliance of medicolegal death investigation functions with accreditation requirements of the National Association of Medical Examiners, and with relevant state statutes and county and Department policies.
  • Develops and implements appropriate quality assurance activities within the Pathology Division, including equitable case distribution, appropriate case peer review, and timely completion of reports.
  • Assumes on-call responsibilities, fielding questions of jurisdictional matters, organ/tissue donation, scene logistics, and other matters.
  • Co-signs selected autopsy reports for verification of compliance with accreditation requirements and Department standard operating procedures.
  • Coordinates administrative aspects, including development and administration of a yearly budget for Medical Examiner Services, as well as participation in hiring, training, performance management, conflict resolution, and disciplinary actions.
  • Conducts and completes medicolegal death investigations pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 49.25.
  • Performs autopsies and external examination of bodies.
  • Collects histologic, toxicologic, and physical evidence.
  • Supervises other staff (autopsy assistants, trace evidence technicians).
  • Interprets gross anatomic pathology and microscopic pathology.
  • Interprets toxicologic results.
  • Reviews and synthesizes medical records and police reports.
  • Crafts timely and thorough autopsy reports and signing death certificates on a timely basis.
  • Provides expert testimony in criminal and civil court relating to medicolegal death investigations (including substitute testimony for other Assistant Medical Examiners who may not be available for testimony).
  • Prepares for testimony by facilitating pretrial conferences with prosecutor, plaintiff, and defense attorneys as needed.
  • Engages in teaching activities at the Department including mentoring forensic pathology fellows, supervising pathology residents, and providing guidance to medical students, nursing students, and other trainees, including direct supervision and instruction in autopsy performance, as well as instructional presentations.
  • Performs other duties of the Chief Medical Examiner in his/her absence.

Other Duties:

  • This Job Description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this position. Management may, at its discretion, assign, or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.
Harris County is an Equal Opportunity Employer
If you need special services or accommodations, please call (713) 274-5445 or email.
This position is subject to a criminal history check. Only relevant convictions will be considered and, even when considered, may not automatically disqualify the candidate.
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