Forensic Pathologist

US Government, Coroner

This employment opportunity will remain open until filled.  The Thurston County Coroner’s Office reserves the right to close the recruitment at any time.  To ensure consideration for this position, please submit your application as soon as possible.

Under general direction, incumbents in this classification are responsible to conduct investigations to determine cause and manner of death of sudden unexpected, violent, suspicious, or unnatural deaths using forensic medical knowledge, expertise, and techniques. Other regular duties may include performing forensic autopsies and other post-mortem examinations, supervising supporting staff, collecting and preserving physical, biological, and toxicological evidence; performing histology related work; x-ray and photographing human remains; toxic chemical and biohazardous waste disposal; and coordination and scheduling of all morgue procedures ensuring all practices are compliant with federal, state, and local laws.

This position is at-will and serves at the pleasure of the appointing authority.

Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Direct and perform timely postmortem examinations, retaining samples, specimens, and tissues necessary for analysis, examination, and documentation as prescribed by existing practices of forensic pathology.
  • Prepare or oversee the preparation of written autopsy and other postmortem examination reports using appropriate reporting form and convention. Issue reports or records in writing of the cause and manner of death where such determinations are not dependent upon further investigation.
  • Examine and interpret medical records/reports, laboratory results, photographs, microscopic slides, investigative reports, evidence, and other information.
  • Keep and maintain appropriate records, reports, and other documentation regarding investigations as well as physical evidence transferred to or from other investigative agencies.
  • Provide supervision over pathology and investigative staff in the performance of autopsies and investigation of deaths, as assigned. May help establish goals, objectives, policies, procedures, and work standards for the office.
  • Confer with and provide expert testimony in court and legal proceedings as to cause and manner of death and related circumstances as required by the court system.
  • Consult with law enforcement and other agencies, next-of-kin, attorneys and others concerning the results of death investigations. Meet with family members of decedents as requested.
  • May conduct death scene responses to aid investigators on a case-by-case basis.
  • Follow policy and protocol for handling of organs and tissues, and appropriate handling of bodies and items found on or about said bodies.
  • Assist with the administration of unclaimed and indigent decedents program.
  • Maintain chain of custody for evidence that comes into possession or control of the Coroner’s Office.
  • Work non-standard hours as needed, including on-call status.
  • May assist in development and implementation of policies and procedures.

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