Forensic Pathologist


Glistening water below lush mountains, dotted with parks frame the Okanagan's largest and liveliest population centre; Kelowna. Okanagan Lake is the perfect place to sail, kayak, or relax on the beach. Rolling greens offer world class golfing, minutes away from spectacular hiking and biking trails. In the winter enjoy ski resorts and skating rinks right at your fingertips. Decorated with heritage buildings and modern architecture, Kelowna offers something for everyone with orchards, vineyards and all the amenities of a major centre. From restaurants, and shops, to art galleries, live music and theatre, this city has it all. Come and experience our four seasons playground and see why life is better here.

Practice Details:

The Forensic Pathologist is responsible for 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 serve as a Forensic Pathologist by conducting autopsies (including the provision of expert testimony in court as needed). They will also assist the Lead Forensic pathologist and Chief Medical Officer in areas of Quality Improvement and Assurance and with research as needed. The successful person will be expected, at times, to be the representative of the Lead Forensic Pathologist and the Coroners Service and will fulfill delegated leadership activities as requested by the Chief Medical Officer or the Lead Forensic pathologist, BCCS.

- Completion of thorough autopsy investigations.
o Provide guidance to Coroners and police officers regarding deaths to be investigated, the extent of investigation and the medical history to be obtained.
o Working with the Coroner in order to help determine whether there will be an external examination or complete autopsy, as part of the investigation, or whether the investigation can be completed based solely upon a review of appropriate documents.
o Complete an external examination or autopsy, with collection of appropriate specimens for histology, toxicology, and other specialized tests as deemed necessary.
o Work collaboratively with other experts (e.g. Forensic Anthropologist, Forensic Odontologist) needed, when necessary, to successfully complete a coronial investigation.
o Prepare reports outlining the findings and conclusions of all autopsy investigations conducted.
o Respond to all correspondence and queries arising from autopsy investigations conducted.

- Balanced testimony as an expert witness in courts of law.
o Be accessible for consultations from police and lawyers regarding the findings and conclusions of those death investigations wherein criminal or civil law matters arise.
o Answer all correspondence from legal counsel regarding death investigations completed by the incumbent.
o Respond to all subpoenas ensuring coordination of schedule between courtroom testimony and other responsibilities.
o Meet with Crown Prosecutors, members of the Defence Bar, and other legal counsel as required prior to testimony.
o Provide balanced testimony to the courts in a manner that ensures a clear understanding of the interpretation of injuries, the cause of death, and any other medical issues brought forward by legal counsel for the presiding judge and the jury (if present).

- Promotion of an understanding of Forensic Pathology and death investigation by agencies and individuals outside of the BC Coroners Service.
o Provide education and guidance to members of the BCCS in the performance of their responsibilities in death investigations.
o Serve as a resource and teacher for police and lawyers regarding Forensic Pathology and death investigations.
o Serve as a teacher for medical students, residents, Forensic Pathology Fellows, paramedics, and other professionals seeking education in various aspects of death investigation and Forensic Pathology.
o Support any reasonable research or publication efforts undertaken by the Lead Forensic Pathologist or office of the Chief Medical Officer, BCCS.

• 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. 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.

• Problem solving:
The incumbent must make a wide variety of decisions, on a daily basis, in order to maintain the high standards of the BCCS and to help sustain operations, 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. The incumbent has a wide variety of resources available within the BCCS (including the Lead Forensic Pathologist, 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 incumbent forensic pathologist may be asked to travel to other BCCS Post-Mortem Diagnostic Services (PMDS) sites, including Prince George, Victoria, Burnaby, and Abbotsford to perform autopsies. The incumbent will be expected to travel to Prince George for two days (two nights) every four to six weeks (rotating with other forensic pathologists) as part of a visiting forensic autopsy service.

The Forensic Pathologist, BCCS, is responsible for conducting post-mortem examinations and death investigation support in BC, in accordance with the Coroners Act. The conclusions drawn in each case, by the Forensic Pathologist, 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.

Specialist laboratory physician, health authority laboratory within BC.

*This job posting is for a position covered by the Provincial Health Officer’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination order and selected applicant(s) must comply with the requirements of the order.

  • Doctorate in Medicine
  • FRCPC or CPSBC Eligible for Full License
Call Schedule:

Hours of work: Full-Time
On call requirements: N/A

Estimated Gross Income


Kelowna General Hospital:

Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) is one of two tertiary hospitals within Interior Health and is the region’s main referral centre offering a full range of services with approximately 400 beds and over 84,000 ED visits yearly. Kelowna General Hospital is home to the Interior Heart & Surgical Centre (IHSC) which opened in 2015 and is BC’s only cardiac critical care centre outside of Victoria and the Lower Mainland. IHSC is Kelowna General Hospital’s principal surgical site and features 12 specialized Operating Rooms created for Thoracic, Urology, Neurosurgery, Vascular, Plastics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Ears Nose and Throat, Orthopedics, General and Trauma surgeries with 2 ORs dedicated to Cardiac Surgery. Our state of the art Centennial Building boasts a total of 360,000 square feet, an expanded emergency and ambulatory care department, new medical inpatient units, modern operating rooms and a rooftop helipad. Within the Interior Heart & Surgical Centre, KGH has a modern maternity ward and adjacent Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. KGH has a dedicated pediatric ward, as well as, adolescent and adult psychiatry units. Enhanced laboratory and clinical departments are found in the new Dr. Walter Anderson Building. KGH is also a teaching centre for the Southern Medical Program affiliated with UBC, and has an academic campus that serves as a satellite for the University of British Columbia Medical School. KGH has become one of BC’s leading healthcare centres.

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