A medical examiner is a public official who investigates deaths
defined by law as being important to the public health and welfare. These
typically include deaths thought to be from other than natural causes but also
may include sudden and unexpected deaths determined later at autopsy to be from
natural disease or deaths in people who were not under the immediate care of a
doctor at the time of death.
Different from coroners, medical examiners must be doctors. Most
are appointed rather than elected. And many are certified in the specialty of
forensic pathology and have expertise in doing autopsies.