December 5, 2023


Science It Works

How To Become A Certified Medical Examiner

With the increase in popularity of crime shows and programs concerning themselves with the science of forensics, many people have developed a keen interest in the subject matter. For those who want to take their interest to its logical conclusion, here are the steps necessary to become a Certified Medical Examiner, or in layman’s terms, a coroner.

1. The first thing a person will need is a bachelor’s degree. Most student who is in a pre-med program will major in and get their degree in either biology or biochemistry. These programs are available at virtually all major universities. They are 4-year programs and after the student has completed the prescribed curriculum, they will possess a Bachelor’s of Science degree from that university.

2. After the 4-years needed to complete the bachelor’s degree will come another 4 years to complete medical school. While in medical school, the student will learn many subjects, such as how to identify diseases and also intensive studies about physiology and anatomy. The first two years of medical school are all academic-based while the last two years of medical school are spent in learning clinical, getting a more hands-on feel to everything and applying the learned knowledge in real-world situations.

3. After medical school is completed, it will be time to move on to a residency in medical pathology. This will gain the student the knowledge that comes from learning how to diagnose and identify diseases through the process of an autopsy. These programs typically last an additional 4 years on top of the 8 years of schooling that was already taken. The student will also learn the various subsets of pathology such as surgical and forensic.

4. After the residency is completed, a fellowship will be pursued. Fellowships generally last for a period of one year. They mainly focus on dealing with victims of violent death or those who have died unexpectedly. The fellowship will be the last step of formal education the student has to go through.

5. The final piece of the puzzle on how to complete the nrcme training will be to actually apply for a job at a coroner’s office or morgue. With all of the education one has undergone and the knowledge they now possess, they should be a shoe-in to get the position they desire.