This is a field I love and if I could turn back time, cue Cher, I would work towards becoming a Chief Medical Examiner.
Marcella Fiero was interviewed in the Frontline documentary Post Mortem. I think she is brilliant and I love how her and some of her colleagues want to implement serious and necessary changes within the medical examiner system.
What pissed me off was the amount of incompetence shown throughout parts of the United States. New Orleans was particularly aggravating. The coroner is a former ob/gyn with a team of forensic pathologists working under him. Coroners are the ones who get the final say in how someone passed away. Some of his cases seemed to err in favor of the police. Unfortunately, New Orleans law enforcement has always had a sketchy existence and the story did not make it much better.
What also floored me was how if a pathologist screwed up in one state, he would just move to another and get a new job. There are no federal mandates or funding. Of course there are a few private forensic groups, but one of them in Northern California had an inept pathologist working for them who had screwed up in several other states.
By not having much funding, there is poorly functioning equipment, some offices even lack x ray machines. There is also no way to set up a proper database to see if a pathologist/medical examiner has have ever been arrested or lost their medical license. This might help to prevent future misdiagnosis of deaths. They also have no set accreditation for medical examiner offices and their staff which is also ludicrous. Yes there are lots of problems going on in the US right now, but let's be dramatic. If your loved one was murdered, wouldn't you want the person doing the autopsy to be fully educated in a properly equipped facility?