Wednesday, June 20, 2007

CSI-like Coroner's biz

Sure I wrote last about the mundane aspects of my job/office, but it should not be construed that that is the end-all/be-all of our Coroner’s biz.

Things like providing our investigative information to the DEA and state licensing agencies to help get doctors out of practice who have turned their offices into Rx mills resulting in significant community problems and death. Or finding unexpected results on toxicology testing and sorting out why the results came back that way (e.g. an individual with kidney failure not getting dose reductions commensurate with their reduced drug clearance).

Or “mapping out” the scatter of body parts and stuff the individual was carrying to come to the conclusion that they were likely hit by a train, as opposed to blunt trauma from another cause. Tracking down eye-witness input that the individual used the tracks as their walking path to get places. Tracking down folks who knew the individual who could provide identifying information and/or refer us to others with that information so we knew who the individual was. Finding that the individual was a resident alien and tracking down family with consular help and getting the body back “home” for burial.

The stuff I mentioned in my last post is more filler than “what we do” day in and day out (our “raison d’etre”), but it does not lessen the frustration associated with it. The “meat” of what we do would be good TV script material, but the other stuff isn’t. The adrenaline stuff makes the job interesting and fulfilling, but the mundane allows for a pause and a breath. The service for those that can no longer serve themselves brings us to work everyday. Got to have a balance of both, but, don’t get me wrong, we do do CSI stuff (albeit with a smaller budget), nonetheless folks need to realize that it’s not all like TV all the time.

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