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Forensic Pathologist

Charleston County

Charleston County

North Charleston, SC, USA
Posted on Friday, December 22, 2023

JOB PURPOSE: The principal function and responsibility of an employee in this class is to assist the Coroner in caring out the statutory functions of the Charleston County Coroner’s to investigate, sudden, unattended, unexpected, or violent deaths within Charleston County. Considerable leeway is granted for the exercise of independent judgment and initiative. The nature of the work performed requires that an employee in this class establish and maintain effective relationships internally and externally with the law-enforcement community, court officials, appropriate medical personnel, other County employees and the public. The principal duties of this class are performed in the autopsy room with some exposure in the field. This employee may be exposed to health and environmental hazards.

HIRING SALARY: $275,000 (Estimated Annual Salary)


Duties and Responsibilities

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: (Order of Essential Functions does not indicate importance of functions.)

* Examines human bodies in order to determine the cause and manner of death using various sources of information a well as the performance of an autopsy.

* Determines the cause of all violent, sudden, accidental, traumatic, or unusual deaths; unattended deaths; death in which a criminal act is suspected, and other deaths as provided in South Carolina statutes.

* Reviews cases and provides input based on medical judgement to determine if an autopsy needs to be conducted.

* Observed, records, and preserves any objects or personal property related to deaths, including objects such as medication and suicide notes, DNA, evidence, fingerprints, trace evidence fibers etc.

* Examines scenes of death/crime at the request of the Coroner

* Provides assistance to law enforcement agencies, organ procurement agencies and communicates directly to investigative team of the Coroner’s Office in cooperation with the Coroner.

* Provides expert testimony in criminal proceedings related to deaths which were investigated by the Coroner’s Office.

* Keeps abreast of current research, principles, practices, standards, and new developments in assigned work area and assists with the formulation of policy for the same

* Assists Locum Tenens with investigations/testimony/case completion if necessary.

* Performs other duties or assumes other responsibilities as apparent or assigned.


* Take action in solving problems while exhibiting judgment and a systematic approach to decision making; identify the important dimensions of a problem, determine potential causes, obtain relevant information, and specify alternate solutions that result in effectiveness.

* Create positive energy in both individuals and groups to build high morale and group commitments to goals and objectives.

* Embrace change and actively support all efforts to improve processes, increase cooperation, communication, and collaboration between and among co-workers, departments, County officials, officials from other jurisdictions, the business community, and the public.

* Respond positively to a work environment that will change day-to-day, requiring quick departure from and re-organization of one’s schedule.

* Demonstrate sound time-management skills by effectively or efficiently delegating, organizing, prioritizing, and completing multiple assignments on or before the designated deadline.

* Safeguard confidential information and use it or disclose it only as expressly authorized or specifically required in the course of performing specific job duties.

* Contribute to overall County effectiveness by providing critical staff support to task forces and by participating, as necessary, in assisting all other teams.

* Utilize high level of conflict resolution skills with staff, community members, elected officials and all stakeholders.

* Represent the Department professionally and effectively to the community and Department members.

* Attentive to the County’s standards for customer service, accuracy, quality, efficiency and all County policies and procedures ensuring that all work performed, and all staff members meet those standards while exhibiting consistent treatment of all staff

Minimum Qualifications


* Must be a licensed as a physician to practice medicine in the State of South Carolina.

* Must be a pathologist certified by the American Board of Pathology in anatomic pathology or board eligible in forensic pathology within (6 months of hire).

* Forensic pathologists in fellowship training may be considered eligible in lieu of above.

* Knowledge of anatomy, pathology, anthropology and other related disciplines for identification and investigative purposes

* Knowledgeable of firearms and other instruments of death

* Knowledgeable of rules of evidence and court procedures.

* Knowledgeable of vehicular crash analysis

* Adhere to NAME autopsy performance standards and requirements

* Knowledgeable of federal, state, and local laws related to the operation of the county coroner’s function

* Skilled in performing autopsies, external examinations, and medical records reviews of decedents.


* Clarity of speech and hearing or other communication capabilities, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to communicate effectively with medical and law-enforcement personnel, funeral directors, and the general public.

* Vision or other powers of observation, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee operate photographic equipment to investigate, identify, preserve, and maintain evidence.

* Manual dexterity, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to operate computers and other general office equipment.

* Personal mobility and physical reflexes, with or without reasonable accommodation, which permits the employee to operate a vehicle, lift heavy objects, and to easily move about in a way that will not disturb evidence.

* Able to stand for extended amounts of time in different conditions.


* Employee may be exposed to health and environmental hazards.

* Standard work hours must be flexible, will include days, evenings, overnights, weekends, and holidays. May be greater than 40 hours per week, and may be called to report to duty at any time.

* Work is performed inside and outside. Exposure to cold, heat and elements of weather and nature may be encountered.

* May be exposed to significant workplace pressure and irregular hours.

* The incumbent is subject to call out in emergency situations