Become a medical examiner

Medical examiners are a core part of the process of investigating patient deaths across the NHS in England and Wales. In order to become a medical examiner, you first need to ensure you have the right knowledge and qualifications, before completing both online and face-to-face training.

College membership for medical examiners

The College would like to welcome new medical examiners as members of the College. As part of their membership they will be awarded the use of the new post nominals ‘RCPathME’ while they remain members. Find out more about medical examiner membership.

Who can be a medical examiner? 

You can apply to become a medical examiner if you: 

  • have at least five years’ experience as a fully registered medical practitioner
  • are currently practicing or have retired in the last five years
  • hold a licence to practise with the GMC or the equivalent medical registration from an overseas body. 

In addition, you’ll need to demonstrate: 

  • up to date knowledge of medical conditions, treatments and causes of death
  • knowledge of relevant legislation and processes
  • knowledge of local and national clinical governance systems
  • strong communication skills that enable them to deliver their role in a compassionate, professional and discreet manner
  • ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team.

The majority of current Medical Examiners are hospital consultants and GPs. Experienced SAS doctors and senior trainees are also eligible to work as Medical Examiners, subject to the requirements of their employing organisation. Medical Examiners should have at least five years post-qualification experience before taking on the role. While completion of training is mandatory for all Medical Examiners, there is no automatic entitlement to work as an ME after completing the training. Most organisations will appoint following competitive interviews to identify the individuals best suited to providing the service locally. 

National and regional contacts

England

National Medical Examiner’s office contacts:

Regional medical examiner offices:

East of England

London

Midlands

North East and Yorkshire

North West

South East

South West

Wales

Learn more about medical examiner training

Training as a medical examiner involves both online e-learning and face-to-face training.