In the wake of a national trauma—a terrorist attack, a school shooting, a natural disaster—many of us stop working, and the media vigil begins. Watching the coverage, I always find myself thinking about the people who can’t just stop: the first responders, the medical teams, the law enforcement personnel, the government officials, the media. Among these public servants, the role of the Medical Examiner is perhaps one of the least understood; this interview was a chance to shed some light on the job and to explore why someone might choose it.
About Dr. Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell: Dr. Melinek is a board-certified forensic pathologist practicing forensic medicine in San Francisco. She also serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pathology at the UCSF Medical Center and runs a private consulting firm, PathologyExpert.com. Her husband, T.J. Mitchell, is a writer and stay-at-home dad. He has worked as a screenwriter’s assistant and script editor since 1991. Working Stiff, the book they have written together, will be published by Scribner in 2014. For updates, visit (and like) the book’s Facebook page.