INTRO: Unveiling the Mystery

Yajaira G -

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 a medical examiner’s office? If so, this is the blog for you. My passion for Forensic Pathology was ignited after taking my 6th-grade biology class. Taking the class made me realize how complex and beautiful human anatomy is. I have been inspired ever since to continue researching the topic of Forensic Pathology. To gain hands-on experience about the topic, I will be shadowing at the Pinal County Medical Examiner’s office, to gain more knowledge about what happens in a Medical Examiner’s Office. During my internship there, I will gain experience through hands-on opportunities and observations where I hope to unveil misconceptions, figure out the process behind establishing the prognosis, and encourage others to discover what it is like going into the forensic pathology field. There is a large shortage of Medical Examiners currently so I hope that this research may inspire more people to look more deeply into this field as a future career path.

Yajaira – Senior Project Proposal

Pinal County Medical Examiner’s Website

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All viewpoints are welcome but profane, threatening, disrespectful, or harassing comments will not be tolerated and are subject to moderation up to, and including, full deletion.

    Sofia Reese
    How often will you be in the office? So proud!
    Toby Chang
    Excited for your project and internship; I'm most interested to see how mental health ties into it!
    This is wonderful! What are the most common misconceptions of being a Medical Examiner?
    Hi Sofia! This month I will be in the office once a week while also working on things virtually!
    Hi Lena! A few common misconceptions of the Medical Examiner's office are they do autopsies on everyone who passes, the Medical Examiner and the Coroner share the same duties, and that most of the cases they receive are homicides. Medical Examiners do not do autopsies on everyone who passes, they do autopsies on people who fall under the Arizona statute ARS 11-593. Think of this statute as a checklist if the decedent does not fall into one of the specifications listed, they would not be taken to the Medical Examiner. The Medical Examiner and the Coroner are different. A Coroner is an elected official who may or may not have any training or qualifications not all coroners are physicians. Compared to a Forensic Pathologist, they have the training, and qualifications, and are physicians. But they do have some overlapping responsibilities such as issuing death certificates. Finally, not all cases the Medical Examiner receives are homicides. Some of the cases they receive can include suicides, accidents, unidentified, and natural causes.

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