Specialty Anatomical Pathology

Subspecialty Forensic Pathology

Role and Facility Information

Lead Forensic Pathologist, BC Coroners Service


The Lead Forensic Pathologist is responsible for assisting the Chief Medical Officer with oversight and management of all autopsy investigations conducted into sudden and unexpected or unnatural deaths reportable to the BC Coroners Service (BCCS), in accordance with the Coroners Act, for the province of British Columbia. The purpose of these investigations is to support identification of the decedent together with the cause and manner of death, to provide documentation and expert opinion to assist with resolving civil and criminal matters that arise from a death, and to support the Coroners Service in providing a sound source of data for deaths investigated by coroners in British Columbia as an aid to preventing similar deaths from occurring in the future. The incumbent will primarily serve as a Forensic Pathologist by conducting autopsies (including the provision of expert testimony in court as needed), but will also be responsible for overseeing and managing the proper conduct of Coroner-authorized autopsies in the province. He or she will also assist the Chief Medical Officer in areas of Quality Improvement and Assurance and with research as needed. He or she will also oversee those staff that work at the BCCS Post Mortem Examination site. The successful person will be expected, at times, to be the representative of the CMO and the Coroners Service and will fulfill delegated leadership activities as requested by the Chief Coroner, Chief Medical Officer or the Deputy Chief Coroner, BCCS.


Ensure high quality and timely autopsies authorized in accordance with provisions of the Coroners Act.

Conduct autopsies and provide expert opinion and/or testimony as needed Support recruitment and training, and oversee quality assurance & improvement and continuing education for Forensic Pathologists working for the BCCS.

Provide high quality support to investigative and laboratory services in the BCCS.

Aid recruitment, training, support, quality assurance & improvement mechanisms, and continuing education for Coroners and other staff and contractors who work for the BCCS. In particular be responsible for the efficient running and staffing of the BCCS Post Mortem Examination site/s.

Ensure that there are sufficient resources (personnel, office infrastructure, and IT) to meet workload requirements for the BCCS Post Mortem Examination Site(s) and to help provide for an appropriate work/life balance for staff.

Ensure that all employees in these sections of the BCCS are able to work in an office environment that is safe and fulfills the policies, vision, and values of the British Columbia public service and the BC Coroners Service.

Work with the Regional Coroners and/or Administrative Manager in order to achieve the previously noted expectations.

Establish the BCCS Post Mortem Examination Site/s as a source of educational excellence in death investigation and Forensic Pathology.

Oversee the provision of continuing education and guidance to Forensic Pathologists and to laboratory staff in the BCCS.

Oversee the provision of educational opportunities, by the Medical Unit and wider BCCS, in death investigation and Forensic Pathology for medical students, residents, Forensic Pathology Fellows, other health care profession students, and those with a legitimate interest in these topics.This includes working in conjunction with educational programs offered by universities (British Columbian, Canadian, and international), other advanced education centres, and schools.

Support any reasonable research or publication efforts undertaken by Chief Medical Officer and Coroners Service executive.


Knowledge and Experience:

The incumbent must be an M.D. with specialty training and certification in Anatomical or General (Clinical) Pathology and with an additional Fellowship year of training in Forensic Pathology together with certification in Forensic Pathology (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, American Board of Pathology, DMJ (Path), or other equivalent). This includes knowledge of all aspects of death investigation, identification techniques, autopsy and external examination techniques, preparation of reports, and provision of expert testimony in a court of law. It is preferred that the incumbent should have 3-5 years of experience working full-time as a Forensic Pathologist, although less experience can be considered depending upon other qualifications. The incumbent will be required to develop a thorough knowledge of and be able to apply the provisions of the Coroners Act to his/her work, and must also be aware of and able to apply provisions of a number of other pieces of British Columbian legislation (e.g. Vital Statistics Act, Public Health Act, Cremation Internment & Funeral Services Act, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) as they apply to death investigation and the work of the BCCS. The incumbent must also be proficient in the use of computers (including use of the internet and Microsoft Office), must be licensed or eligible for medical licensure in the province of British Columbia, and must have a valid driver’s license.


Leadership: The incumbent has overall leadership and management responsibility for all BCCS Forensic Pathologists and the day-to-day operation of the BCCS Post Mortem Examination Site/s, having up to 12 in-scope staff. These individuals look to the incumbent for leadership, direction, resources, and infrastructure within each of their areas of responsibility.

Problem solving: The incumbent must make a wide variety of decisions, on a daily basis, in order to maintain the operations falling within his/her area of responsibility (in particular the running of the BCCS Post Mortem Examination Site/s). These can include, but are not limited to, decisions made in an individual post mortem examination, where the incumbent is conducting the examination; application of BCCS policy, the Coroners Act, or other legislation as it applies to the operation of the BCCS Post Mortem Examination Site/s, for individual cases or for broader policy issues; working with the Chief Medical Officer to determine the overall direction and policies of the office as it applies to death investigation support and post mortem examinations; budgetary requests to the Medical Unit for the areas that he/she manages; human resource decisions; and determining what matters need to be brought to the attention of the Chief Medical Officer for information or decision. The incumbent has a wide variety of resources available within the BCCS (including the Chief Medical Officer, Medical Unit Administrator) to assist with making and implementing these decisions.

Strategic Orientation: Is aware of political climate to undertake policy directions and is able to assess implications of trends and developments as they affect present policies, processes and ongoing issues.

Innovation and Change: Supports and encourages new ideas and approaches to enhance performance and results; embraces change, takes intelligent risks, and helps others to engage in the change process.

Results Orientation: Able to work independently while using initiative and resourcefulness in a high volume, demanding environment; able to organize and manage concurrent activities and projects, keeping team members, supervisor and colleagues informed of progress and significant issues.

Analytic Thinking: Identifies key components and underlying issues and systematically analyzes the problem and determines cause effect relationships and resolves problems in a sound decisive manner; interprets data and draws logical conclusions using deductive reasoning and critical thinking; able to lead analyses and develop strategies to implement change or introduction of new policies.

Relationship Building: Able to initiate relationships on behalf of the Division or the Coroners Service engaging people in the ministry as well as elsewhere in government and external stakeholders and can use those relationships to gain entry to higher level decision makers or to potentially unreceptive, critical or hostile audiences and achieve important goals.

Flexibility: Willingness to be flexible to ongoing changes in responsibilities, assignments and corporate structures; and willingness to be available and respond to new emerging priorities and re-prioritize existing work in a group environment.

Leading Others: Inspires people and teams to reach their fullest potential; positively influences people and events at entry level of the organization.

Teamwork and Cooperation: Works co-operatively with diverse teams, work groups and across organization to achieve group organizational goals. This includes communicating effectively and collaboratively with others.


The Lead Forensic Pathologist, BCCS, is responsible for overseeing post mortem examinations and death investigation support conducted by all BCCS Forensic Pathologists in BC, in accordance with the Coroners Act; for managing BCCS Post Mortem Examination Site/s that support death investigations; and for conducting autopsies in individual cases. The conclusions drawn in each case, by the Forensic Pathologists, are of crucial importance to the coroners’ findings as required by the Coroners Act and to the resolution of criminal and civil law matters that arise in many of these deaths.


Medical Director, Health Authority Laboratory within BC.

Facility: Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre

Abbotsford Regional Hospital & Cancer Centre is a 272 bed, University of British Columbia affiliated hospital offering medical, surgical, obstetrics, inpatient pediatrics, renal, cardiology, tertiary palliative care, helipad, as well as 24/7 emergency services with 79,289 visits annually.



Compensation Type
Clinical Service Contract

Live and work in BC


Fondly nicknamed "the Berry Capital of Canada," the city of Abbotsford is an agricultural mecca with more than a handful of strawberries, blueberries and field-grown flowers, such as daffodils and tulips within arm's reach. Abbotsford stays adventure ready all through the year with theme parks, scenic gardens, hiking and skiing trails, campgrounds, and more. Home to the annual Abbotsford International Air Show and the Tulip Festival, Abbotsford overflows with endless opportunities to live, work, and play.

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