Medical Examiner

The Medical Examiner investigates sudden, violent, unexpected or suspicious deaths that occur in Washtenaw County.

Overview of the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner

The Medical Examiner provides 24-hour on-call service and investigates any sudden, violent, unexpected or suspicious deaths that occur in Washtenaw County. All autopsies are performed at the University of Michigan's morgue.The staff includes medical doctors specializing in forensic pathology, medical investigators, autopsy assistants and support persons.

The Chief Medical Examiner is a physician certified in forensic pathology, authorized by Washtenaw County, Michigan, to investigate sudden unexpected, violent, suspicious, or unnatural deaths. The laws of the State of Michigan assign the responsibility for determining the cause and manner of unexpected deaths in each county to the Medical Examiner. In Washtenaw County, the Chief Medical Examiner is Dr. Jentzen. Dr. Jentzen accepts this responsibility with full commitment to a consistent high quality service, which is recognized as a model throughout the State.

Investigations

Every reported death is fully investigated, often with cooperation of law enforcement agencies and health care personnel in Washtenaw County as well as around the State of Michigan. Because Washtenaw County is a principal medical referral center, our inquiries often lead necessarily to distant sources of information regarding causes of injury. The results of these death investigations provide valuable information, which is used in professional education and by the criminal justice system, public health departments, families of the deceased and other concerned persons.

Research & Data Collection

While the Medical Examiner staff of investigators, physicians and support persons is primarily concerned with the circumstances surrounding unexpected deaths, our concern for the living is also reflected in our work. We complete regular reviews of all childhood deaths, partnering with concerned and involved state and county agencies. In addition, we review all deaths of persons receiving community mental health services. Staff members likewise donate many hours to professional and local public education programs for injury investigation, care and prevention.

Recruitment

Periodically, Medical Investigators are added to our staff through the University of Michigan department of Pathology. Jobs are usually posted on the University of Michigan job site. Preferred candidates for these positions have education/employment in some areas including but not limited to Law Enforcement and/or allied health. Those who believe that they qualify for these positions are encouraged to apply for the jobs when posted.

Medical Examiner Annual Reports

View current and archived annual reports.

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