Monday, March 19, 2012
Dr. Dentist Coroner?
I recently watched "Post Mortem- Death investigation in America" which was a PBS Frontline documentary about the system of coroners and medical examiners in the United States. It was shocking. The lack of medical experience and ineptitude that is prevalent in the system will floor you. I was under the impression that the people elected to be the county coroner were doctors or had SOME sort of medical experience. This is often NOT the case and in some places, one of the only requirements is a HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA!
After spotting a "Vote for so and so for Coroner" sign in Highland Park yesterday, I was compelled to see what the qualifications were of the candidates running for this office. I'm more than a little shocked. Out of the 4 candidates, 1 is a board certified pathologist (the only qualified candidate as far as I'm concerned), 2 had no experience that was even remotely medical but had previous experience in law enforcement/coroners office, and 1 was a dentist.
A flipping dentist. Seriously.
Granted, the Lake County system is set up that the coroner is not performing any autopsies. Autopsies are contracted out to a pathologists from an outside company. I am not saying that the candidates don't seem like smart men and don't have valid arguments for why they should be the coroner. They are and they do. But the bottom line, is that personally, I'd like someone with surgical and pathology experience. Even if they never touch an instrument. It just seems like they are better qualified to even have a discussion with the 3rd party pathologists and make a competent decision. Oh, based on the dentists declaration that he'd focus on "death prevention" by talking to high schoolers about suicide, drinking and texting, etc, I'd still much rather a medical doctor was having those conversations. C'mon people.
Take a peek into who is in charge of your county coroner's office. I wonder what their background is...and if you have Netflix Instant, check out the special from PBS..it's fascinating
Candidates for Coroner in Lake County