2598 Assistant Medical Examiner

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

Recruitment #PEX-2598-102722


APPOINTMENT TYPE: Permanent Exempt (PEX), this position is excluded by Charter from the competitive Civil Service examination and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.


The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) provides accurate, timely, compassionate, and professional death investigative services for the residents of the City and County of San Francisco. By law, the Office is first and foremost responsible for the investigation and certification of a variety of deaths of legal or public health interest. The successful candidate will be required to live within 30 minutes from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in order to respond to emergencies.

The OCME moved into a new, modern 46,000 square foot facility at the end of 2017 which enables staff to more effectively and efficiently carry out their mandated duties as an essential first responder and critical partner in San Francisco’s criminal justice system. The facility has over $1M in state-of-the-art radiology instrumentation, including a Siemens CT scanner and Lodox X-ray console to optimize efficiency when completing forensic examinations.  The two-story autopsy suite contains six main stations with three private auxiliary isolation suites.  The autopsy surgical space includes ceiling heights over 32 ft. tall with a central skylight extending the length of the room.

The OCME has a budget of $10.7 million and an authorized staff of 39 professionals. In addition to the Medical Division, the Office also includes an Investigative Division, an in-house Forensic Laboratory Division with state-of-the-art Forensic Toxicology services, and Administrative support staff.  Medical staff members have the opportunity to work directly with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine residents rotating through the Office on a monthly basis.  This interaction facilitates a close working relationship with UCSF’s Department of Pathology and its affiliates, which allows for consultation with a vast group of professionals.  In 2019, the Office conducted almost 1,400 post-mortem examinations.


Under administrative, legal, medical, and direction of the Chief Medical Examiner, the 2598 Assistant Medical Examiner performs difficult and specialized professional medical work in the field of forensic medicine, which requires advanced and specialized education, training and experience.  The duties of the class involve the evaluation of injuries and evidence in the living and the medicolegal investigation of death.  This position is distinguished from other medical specialties by the required specific training and experience and American Board of Pathology board certification in the subspecialty of forensic pathology.  Incumbents in this class serve as an Assistant Medical Examiner in accordance with state law. Incumbents may supervise Forensic Autopsy Technicians, Medical Examiner’s Investigators, Medical Examiner’s Investigative Assistants, residents, and fellows as part of the investigation and autopsy process.


According to the Civil Service Commission Rule 109, the duties specified below are representative of the range of duties assigned to this class and are not intended to be an inclusive list.

1. Performs forensic autopsies and examinations in accordance with the standards of the National Association of Medical Examiners and the policies of the San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner; examines tissue and evidence recovered at autopsy; aids the Chief Medical Examiner in the determination of the cause, circumstances and manner of death, as required by law. Maintains knowledge of current professional standards related to the performance of forensic autopsies and the interpretation of findings by review of forensic journals, professional training and conferences.

2. Utilizing the principles of Forensic Medicine, Criminalistics and the Forensic Sciences, and in accordance with recognized professional and legal standards, examines deceased or living individuals either at the scene or other facilities for the purpose of determining the timing, nature, and age of injuries; interprets, documents and collects evidence potentially appropriate to criminal or other proceedings; performs forensic autopsies and examinations; examines tissues removed during those procedures in the preparation of microscopic reports along with the appropriate interpretations of the pathologic and toxicology data necessary to determine the cause and manner of death. Ensures that all assigned staff is compliant with blood borne pathogen regulations, biohazard, injury and illness prevention safety standards and forensic safety requirements.

3. Reviews detailed and complex medical records, x-rays and photographs for the purpose of interpreting the medical data as it relates to the legal issues of a particular case.

4. Confers with, and at the direction and approval of the Chief Medical Examiner, documents medical findings and prepares clear, concise and effective written report or communications; speaks in a clear and understandable manner appropriate to the understanding of audience or jury; listens and effectively elicits information; sets task priorities and coordinates the work schedule with the Forensic Autopsy Technicians and Medical Examiner’s Investigative Assistants in a logical and productive manner; trains and monitors the performance of staff, residents, fellows and/or other physicians in the safe performance of legal medicine and forensic autopsies and examinations, uses a computer to access and input information as well as to prepare written documents and reports of examinations and findings, use of digital photographic and radiology equipment. and reports of examinations and findings, use of digital photographic and radiology equipment.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Nature of duties may require sustained physical effort involving manual skill and dexterity, physical ability to lift dead bodies and remove them from the scene of death, and 24-hour “on call” availability to respond to scenes of sudden death or injuries. Work environments may entail exposure to physical, chemical, and/or biological health hazards; unpleasant odors or conditions; frequent exposure to sudden, unexpected, and sometimes violent deaths; and exposure to disagreeable elements or situations inherent in this specialized field.

Minimum Qualifications

1. Graduation from an approved medical school and possession of a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree; AND

2. Completion of a residency program approved by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education in anatomic or anatomic and clinical pathology; AND

3. Possession or eligibility to obtain certification by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic or anatomic and clinical pathology; AND

4. Possession or eligibility to obtain a valid license as a Physician and Surgeon issued by the California State Board of Medical Examiners; AND

5. Possession of or eligibility to sit for the examination in the subspecialty of forensic pathology issued by the American Board of Pathology. With the loss of eligibility to sit for the specialty examination, the individual would be considered no longer qualified for the position of Assistant Medical Examiner; AND

6. Possession and maintenance of a valid California class C or higher driver’s license at the time of appointment.


Specialized training or American Board of Pathology board certification in Pediatric Pathology, Cardiac Pathology or Neuropathology.

VERIFICATION: Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point in the application and/or departmental selection process. Written verification (proof) of qualifying experience must verify that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications stated on the announcement. Verification of experience is typically submitted on employer’s official letterhead, specifying name of employee, dates of employment, types of employment (part-time/full-time), job title(s), description of duties performed, and the verification must be signed by the employer. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which they are appointed. Credit for experience obtained outside of the employee’s class will be allowed only if recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Commission Rules. Experience claimed in self-employment must be supported by documents verifying income, earnings, business license and experience comparable to the minimum qualifications of the position. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at http://sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=456.

NOTE: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.


In accordance with State of California Penal Code Section 830.35, the Assistant Medical Examiner are peace officers. Applicants must qualify for peace officer status as set forth in State of California Government Code Section 1031 and must pass a peace officer’s background investigation prior to appointment.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously”
  • Follow instructions on the screen

A resume is REQUIRED at the time of filing and must be attached to the online application. Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered. Mailed, hand delivered or faxed documents/applications will not be accepted.

Computers are available for the public (from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday) to file online applications in the lobby of the Dept. of Human Resources at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco.

Applicants may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is their responsibility to ensure that their registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date. Also, applicants must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on their computer by a spam filter. To prevent blocking, applicants should set up their email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses (@sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org).

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file. Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline. Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications. Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores. If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the analyst at (415) 554-6000.

Selection Plan


Prior to appointment, each candidate’s background will be reviewed to determine fitness for this employment. Candidates will be required to complete a P.O.S.T. (Peace Officer Standards & Training) personal history statement. This information is certified by investigation of records held by Criminal Justice System and DMV, as well as contact with employers and references listed by the candidate. Reasons for rejection include the use of controlled substances, felony convictions, repeated or serious violation of the law, inability to work cooperatively with co-workers, inability to accept supervision, negative financial/credit history/or other relevant factors. Candidates must have a current history of careful and responsible motor vehicle operation. Negligent motor operator probation, license suspension, drunk driving, reckless or hit-and-run driving records or records of multiple moving violations may be cause for rejection. Candidates must not have been convicted of a felony in this state or in any federal jurisdiction or of any offense in any state or any federal jurisdiction, which would have been a felony if committed in this state. Criminal records will be carefully reviewed; those candidates who do not report their complete criminal history records on their applications will be disqualified or terminated. Candidates are required to undergo a polygraph examination to verify the accuracy of the information submitted regarding but not limited to, the use of controlled substances, driving, criminal, medical and employment history and other job related factors.


Prior to appointment, candidates must successfully pass a P.O.S.T medical examination including drug and pulmonary function tests in order to determine their ability to perform the essential functions of the job. Recurrent medical screening and tests are required. Testing for use of controlled substance is required. Any illegal use of controlled substances after the date of appointment is a mandatory cause for rejection. Any use of controlled substances after the date of application may be cause for rejection. Rejection for prior use of controlled substance(s) is based on the type of substance(s) used and the frequency and recency of such usage. All information submitted by candidates regarding the use of controlled substance(s) will be reviewed during the polygraph examination.

Selection Procedures

Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience. Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in order to determine candidates’ qualifications. Only those applicants who most closely meet the needs of the Agency will be invited to participate in the selection process. Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement to the interview. Qualified applicants with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodation in the selection process must contact the Agency by phone at (415) 554-6000 or, if hearing impaired at (415) 554-6015 (TTY).


Conviction History

As a selected candidate for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a selected candidate. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:

  • Candidates for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.

Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are a selected candidate, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures: Important Employment Information for the City and County of San Francisco can be obtained at http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20 or hard copy at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor.

Copies of Application Documents: Applicants should keep copies of all documents submitted, as these will not be returned.

Right to Work: All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.


All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.

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