Medical Examiner

The intent of the legislature regarding the medical examiner system is to protect the innocent as well as to bring to justice those guilty. It is clear that the Medical Examiner will play an important role in shaping statistics on causes of death. It is therefore essential that serious consideration be given to problems of medical certification of medical-legal cases from the standpoint of the Medical Examiner as well as from the point of view of vital registration and statistics.

Medical Examiner vs Coroner

The medical examiner system differs from the coroner system in that the medical examiner shall be licensed in Iowa as a Doctor of Medicine and Surgery or licensed in Iowa as an Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon as defined by law and shall be an appointive rather that an elective officer.

The Medical Examiner is appointed by the Board of Supervisors.


The primary duties of the medical examiner are to investigate and determine the cause of death of persons dying under various conditions as specified in the law.