A Medical Examiner Officer may or may not have a clinical background, although they will probably have experience in a patient or customer-facing role and of working in either current death certification systems, or a in a clinical or NHS setting.
The nature of the role requires an understanding of medical records and disease pathology, and an ability to provide advice on clinical terminology and causes of death. There is also a need to be able to explain these, and the Medical Examiner’s thoughts and rationale, to coroner’s officers, doctors and those with no medical understanding. This requires strong interpersonal skills and being comfortable working with people following a bereavement.
Medical Examiner Officers can come from any working background but are required to complete the core e-learning sessions and face-to-face training provided by the Royal College of Pathologists before application. In addition, The Medical Examiner Service for Wales also evaluates on going practice via a specifically developed Medical Examiner Officer Competence Framework.