Job Specifications


Class Code:  PT9

Analyst:   MM

Date Originated:  6/12   

Date Revised:







Under general direction, to perform autopsies and other professional work in forensic pathology to determine cause and time of death; to act as a professional consultant and provide expert witness services; and to do other work as required. 




This is a single-position class in the Sheriff-Coroner’s Office and is responsible for directing and coordinating the forensic pathology activities.  This class is distinguished from other Physician classes in that it requires specific training; experience and board certification in the specialty of forensic pathology, as well as the performance of duties associated with the medico-legal investigation of death or injuries.



·       Establishes standards for conducting autopsies and maintaining chain of custody;

·       Performs forensic autopsies and  external examination of bodies; evaluates historical and law-enforcement investigative information in order to establish cause and time of death and whether death was due to natural causes, accident, suicide, homicide, or is undetermined;

·       Collects medical evidence such as trace evidence and secretions; performs chemical and/or microscopic examinations of tissues and fluids; and submits samples of body fluids, tissues and other findings to laboratories for toxicology and clinical laboratory examination when analysis may be required;

·       Performs forensic scene investigations; directs crime scene investigators for evidence collection; directs and ensures the preservation of legal, physical, and medical evidence, ensuring that the chain of custody is maintained; and performs scene reconstruction;

·       Dictates medical findings and prepares case reports on observations and interpretations; confers with judicial, law enforcement and medical personnel and assists in interpreting autopsy findings for the purpose of reconstructing events leading to the determination of causes and manner of death;

·       Develops, plans and prepares standardized procedures and protocols;

·       Testifies in court and legal proceedings;

·       Provides forensic pathology services in emergencies that include natural disasters, major incidents and civil disorder;

·       Provides training in forensic evidence collection and death investigation to law enforcement personnel;

·        Provides technical direction to the Coroner Forensic Technician;

·       Oversees the work of contract forensic pathologists as necessary;

·       Provides advisory and consultative services to Sheriff’s Office personnel, law enforcement agencies, District Attorney and various governmental bodies and to Public Health Service professionals.






Thorough knowledge of:



Ability to:


·         Work closely in cooperation with crime scene investigators and detectives.


Training and Experience:  Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.  A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:


·         Four years of experience working as a licensed physician in the field of Forensic Pathology.


Special Requirements:


·         Possession and maintenance of a valid Physician and Surgeon’s License issued by the State of California.

·         Possession and maintenance of a valid certificate in anatomic and forensic pathology issued by the American Board of Pathology.


Background Investigation:  


·         Successfully pass a complete background investigation.


Special Working Conditions:





Previous Class Title:  None

Bargaining Unit: 08

EEOC:  02

Occupational Group:  61

Worker’s Compensation Code:  0290