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Medical Examiner Office Internship - Forensic Science Rotation (Minnesota)

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Program overview

Program length: 3-10 weeks
Class size: 1 student
Location: Rochester, Minnesota

This internship brings students who are entering the general field of forensics into the medical examiner’s office, introducing them to a variety of the responsibilities, specifically that of a medicolegal death investigator. You’ll experience many aspects of this profession including the death investigation itself, the autopsy examination, and the interactions with adjacent agencies including, but not limited to, the funeral home, law enforcement, and families.

Through the internship, you will:

  • Create and build relationships within the field of forensics
  • Learn skills and techniques of death investigation
  • Understand death certification including determination of cause and manner of death

Graduation and certification

Upon successful completion of the rotation, you receive a letter of completion from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences.

Application process

The Medical Examiner’s Office Internship admits one trainee each semester. Up to five candidates are accepted on a competitive basis each year. This ensures that you receive tailored instruction and a comprehensive educational experience.

The program begins at the start of each semester.

Your application and all supporting documentation must be received two months prior to the start date.

Prerequisites

To participate in the Medical Examiner’s Office Internship, you must be enrolled at one of these affiliated academic institutions:

Graduates may be eligible to sit for the Registry Certification through the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI).

To be eligible for the Medical Examiner’s Office Internship, you must:

  • Be currently enrolled at one of the program’s academic affiliates as a third or fourth year student in the criminology, criminal justice, forensic science, or natural science programs
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Be at least 18 years of age before starting the program

Candidates are selected based on grades and work experiences, as well as representation of personal qualities and skills and a genuine interest in the forensic field of medicolegal death investigation in a purpose statement. 

Application instructions

Complete the following steps to apply:

  1. Create an account to begin the online Application for Admission
    • Select – Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences
    • Select – Medical Examiner Office Internship
  2. Complete each section of the application and submit
  3. After submission, view the required Supplemental Items and Documents
    • Upload each required item in the Supplemental Items section
    • Complete the Recommendation Request section

Additional required items

  • CV/resume.
  • Unofficial college and university transcripts may be uploaded in the Supplemental Item area for application purposes. Submit a transcript from every college and university you have attended. If appointed to the program, official transcripts must be mailed from each educational institution directly to Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences and sent directly to the address below.

    Courtney Hyland, PA(ASCP), F-ABMDI
    Program Director
    Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences
    Siebens Building, Fifth Floor
    200 First St. SW
    Rochester, MN 55905
    Email: hyland.courtney@mayo.edu

  • Essay is to include your intent and goals for the program and then be uploaded in the Supplemental Items section.
  • Two letters of recommendation are required and must be completed in the Recommendation Request section. The recommender will receive an email with a link to complete a rating form and upload a letter. A minimum of one reference must be an academic reference.
    • Academic: Choose a person familiar with your educational qualifications and your potential for success in the field of forensics. References may include current or former teachers or professors.
    • Professional: Choose a person familiar with your professional qualifications and your potential for success in the field of forensics. References may include employers, teachers, or supervisors.

Admissions policies

Candidates must meet the technical standards (with or without reasonable accommodation) necessary to acquire or demonstrate competence in health professions as outlined in the Medical Examiner’s Office Internship technical performance standards.

Non-U.S. citizen applicants 

See the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences non-U.S. citizen applicant's policy.

Tuition and financial aid

There is no tuition for the Medical Examiner’s Office Internship. You are responsible for your living accommodations and transportation.

Curriculum

The Medical Examiner’s Office Internship prepares you for professional practice in a medical examiner’s/coroner’s office, or related areas such as autopsy or toxicology laboratories, office of decedent affairs, or other forensic area.

During this program, learning experiences allow you to:

  • Participate in death investigation (scene and phone)
  • Participate in autopsy/postmortem examination
  • Observe toxicology, cardiac, pulmonary, and/or neuropathology conferences
  • Interact with law enforcement, funeral homes, caregivers, and families
  • Prepare for possible registry certification through the ABMDI

Schedule

For the majority of the internship, your learning schedule includes 10–40 hours per week, with either four- or eight-hour days, and between one to five days per week (dependent upon semester and course work). 

Facilities

The Medical Examiner’s Office Internship primarily takes place in the Stabile Building where the investigative work is performed and where the autopsy laboratory is housed.

Accreditation information

Graduates of the internship may be eligible to sit for the Registry Certification through the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI).

See accreditation information for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

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