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To the Editor:—
As a deputy medical examiner in Nassau County, I have found the term "medical examiner" to be confusing and misleading to the general public. For example, people call our office to request medical (physical) examinations and find it difficult to comprehend our refusal to perform them. I have noticed that the term "medical examiner" is used throughout the nation. It occurred to me that the word "mortology," which connotes the study of death, would be more appropriate. Then the medical examiner's office would be known as the Department of Mortology and the medical examiner as a mortologist. Any help that can be offered on the semantics of this problem would be gratefully received.
Whipple RU. "MEDICAL EXAMINER"—A MISLEADING TERM. JAMA. 1960;173(4):445. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020220119028