Yajaira G's Senior Project Blog

Project Title: Behind the Doors at a Medical Examiner's Office
BASIS Advisor: Miles Hansen
Internship Location: Pinal County Medical Examiner
Onsite Mentor: Andre Davis

Project Abstract

What happens in a Medical Examiner's Office? How are post-mortem exams performed? How do they determine the cause of death? The Medical Examiner's Office is an important place to know about since they work in close association with the community in many avenues. Plenty of people do not know what happens at the facility. Knowing what happens behind the doors at a Medical Examiner's Office will help with understanding how to be safer in some aspects and combat any misconceptions that society has about them. To gain these valuable insights, I will be shadowing at the Pinal County Medical Examiner's Office. Shadowing will help me understand better what happens within and spread awareness about the field, especially with the worldwide shortage of Medical Examiners. By observing in-person, we can evaluate how each field works together to come up with a prognosis. The observations and knowledge that I will gain from this experience will help enlighten people to explore the field further. Personally, I chose this opportunity because I am interested in pursuing a potential career path in a Medical Examiner's Office and I desire to learn more. I am highly looking forward to clearing misconceptions and gaining more valuable insights into the field of forensic pathology.

    My Posts:

  • WEEK TEN: Solved The Mystery

    Hi Peeps! Throughout these couple of weeks, I have been able to discuss and learn about the mystery of what happens behind the Doors at a Medical Examiner's Office. With the help of my previous blogs, I have been able to unveil the mystery at our hands and share the findings with you, the reader.... Read More

  • WEEK NINE: Post-Mortem Examination (Autopsy)

    Hi Peeps!! In this week's blog, I will be going in-depth over a post-mortem examination. If you do not feel comfortable with reading any of this, it is fine you can check in next week!       This week was very fascinating. I went into the office at the same time I usually do which is 7... Read More

  • WEEK EIGHT: Neglect, Abuse, and Updates

    Hi Peeps! This week was filled with more learning! This week, instead of going to the medical examiner's office first, I went to the courthouse in Florence, Arizona, where the office held a lecture on assault, abuse, and neglect. Here are a few things I learned: Neglect can include nursing home deaths and cases involving... Read More

  • WEEK SEVEN: More in-depth forensic toxicology

    Hi Peeps! This week was filled with more learning! Instead of going to the office on Monday, I went on Wednesday, 3/28, because there was a lecture that I attended. The lecture was on forensic toxicology. Here are a few things I learned: Forensic toxicology is not taken from every case; it will be taken... Read More

  • WEEK SIX: More Learning!

    Hi Peeps!      This week I went to the office on Monday, March 18th. There were four cases for the day: two external and two full exams. I found this to be fascinating. I was able to learn how to close the body cavity and did it myself. This was very interesting, I struggled a bit... Read More

  • WEEK FIVE: The Search Begins

    Hi, Peeps! This week was interesting. I went to the office on Wednesday, March 13th, where I attended a death investigation seminar on gunshot wounds. This was fascinating and helpful in reinforcing my preexisting knowledge of the topic. What I did that day was first go to the courthouse in Florence, Arizona, for the lecture... Read More

  • WEEK FOUR: Other sciences applied to death investigation

    Hi, Peeps! This week, I learned about the sciences that can be used in death investigations. This past Monday, March 4th, I went into the office. There were eight cases for the day, but I only observed four. That is because I then went into the conference room to present the history of the death... Read More

  • WEEK THREE: Rigor, Livor, and Algor Mortis

    Hi, y'all!! Yet again, this week was filled with more learning! In this blog, I will go into a few more things that go into the preparation. This past Monday, 2/26, I got to the office at 7 a.m. There were seven cases for the day. I was able to observe how they do X-rays... Read More

  • WEEK TWO: The Preparation

    Hi Everyone!!!! This week was fascinating to me, and I hope it is for you too!! This Wednesday 2/21 I got to the office at around 7 am. What I typically do when I get there is go and change into scrubs and switch my shoes out. Afterward, I walk into the morgue. When I... Read More

  • WEEK ONE: Establishing the foundation

    Hi everyone! This week I have mastered the understanding behind establishing the foundation. I entered the office on Monday to observe the preparation that occurs before the exams begin. Then I observed the exams; there were 5 cases for the day. Afterwards, I went into the conference room to learn the definitions and the requirements... Read More

  • INTRO: Unveiling the Mystery

    Hi! I’m Yajaira, a first-generation student from BASIS Prescott. A few of my interests are Human Anatomy, Forensics, and Mental Health.  For my senior project, I wanted to do something where all three of my interests intersect, which led me to an internship with a medical examiner's office. Have you ever wondered what happens at... Read More