Forensic Pathologist Level I/II

Sacramento County Coroner, Sacramento, CA, US


  • Performs a wide variety of medical services including autopsy, external examination of bodies, evaluation of medical records, dictation of autopsy and examination reports and oversees completion of transcribed reports.
  • Directs and ensures the preservation of physical and medical evidence in accordance with policy, professional standards, and State regulations and ensures chain of custody.
  • Interprets toxicology and laboratory results; analyzes tissue/body fluid slides with microscope and interprets findings.
  • Graduates from an accredited Neuropathology or Pediatric Fellowship Program may be assigned to provide neuropathology consultation by providing specialty examinations and issuance of report of findings.
  • Provides "On-Scene" consultation to Deputy Coroners and other law enforcement agencies as needed.
  • Trains residents in anatomic and forensic pathology; provides in-service education to staff and other agency training.
  • Coordinates interaction with consultants.
  • Provides advisory and consultative services to Department staff, various governmental bodies, and to Public Health Service professionals including County Child Death Review Team.
  • Participates in countywide death review teams and hospital peer review committees concerning traumatic deaths.
  • Communicates with families and other interested parties to explain findings.
  • Maintain cooperative relationships with transplant organizations.
  • Prepares and presents medical findings in court, to judicial agencies, legal representatives, and other interested parties.
  • Prepares executive-level correspondence and reports.
  • Participates in various research projects.
  • Assists in developing policies and procedures.
  • Keeps informed of new and improved methods in Forensic Pathology and medicine and instructs the professional and technical staff in such methods.



Knowledge of:

  • Procedures, techniques, and equipment utilized in forensic medicine, including medico-legal autopsy, forensic toxicology, ballistics/firearm examination, trace evidence, forensic serology, forensic anthropology, DNA technology and interpretation of histology and clinical chemistry necessary to determine the circumstances, cause, manner, and time of death
  • Rules and regulations applicable to court testimony
  • Forensic evidence collection techniques and procedures
  • Laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, and government regulations

This is a single class with two salary levels. The level at which initial appointments are made are at the discretion of the appointing authority.

Forensic Pathologist (Level I) is the entry-level of this class. Incumbents at this level are not yet Board certified in forensic pathology. Working under general supervision, incumbents function as a forensic pathologist and vital team members working on the daily caseload, further refining their skills in medico-legal death investigation and cause and manner of death. At the discretion of the appointing authority, incumbents may advance to the higher level after obtaining Board certification in forensic pathology.

Forensic Pathologist (Level II) is the experienced level in this specialized class and the targeted competency and performance level expected of all Forensic Pathologists. Incumbents proficiently perform the full-scope of Forensic Pathology activities. Level II differs from Level I in that the incumbents in Level II are Board certified in forensic pathology and exercise a higher level of independent judgment and discretion consistent with department policies, procedures, and guidelines.

Workload: 250-300 Examinations annually, which includes all case classes (Autopsy and External examinations).

Desirable Qualifications Level I:

  • License to practice medicine in the State of California
  • Graduation from an accredited Forensic Pathology Fellowship Program

Desired Qualifications Level II:

  • Board Certified in Forensic Pathology


Compensation: The County of Sacramento offers an excellent compensation and benefits program. The salary range for this position is $262,670.04 - $294,137.04 annually. In addition to the above salary, Forensic Pathologists certified in Neuropathology, Pediatric Pathology or other recognized specialties, shall receive Premium Pay in the amount of 10% of their base salary.

Forensic Pathologists assigned Standby shifts, shall receive 12.5% of their base salary for each hour assigned. On average, Standby time per Forensic Pathologist is 1,959 hours per year. This is for coverage, after hours and on weekends, for a week at a time. Duties include fielding calls regarding organ procurement, case triage and on rare occasions, responding to a scene of death.

The attractive benefits program includes:

  • Retirement - The County's Retirement plan is provided by the County Retirement Act of 1937 and is managed by the Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System.
  • Medical Insurance - Choice of HMO and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP), to include Kaiser, Sutter, and Western Health Advantage.
  • Holidays - 13.5 paid holidays per year.
  • Vacation - Two to five weeks (based upon length of service) of paid vacation.
  • Sick Leave - 15 days per year.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Employees may set aside funds on a pre-tax basis to pay for eligible medical and/or dependent care expenses.

How to apply

Please send Curriculum Vitae and letter of interest to:

Dr. Jason Tovar, Chief Forensic Pathologist