It Can (and Does) Happen Here!
One Physician’s Four Decades-Long Journey as Coroner in Rural North Idaho
About the Book
When a loved one dies in a mysterious manner, we rely on coroners and medical examiners to tell us what happened. The stakes are high: Coroners seek justice for the dead, exoneration for the wrongfully accused, and closure for the families of victims. They are always on call and work closely with law enforcement.
Author Robert S. West, who served as a physician-coroner in rural Kootenai County, Idaho, from 1970 to 2011, delves into the challenges he faced on the job. While he often lacked resources, he always did the best he could to serve his community, solving numerous mysteries using the tactics of forensic medicine.
Dr. West also explores the shortcomings of the coroner/medical examiner system and how it can be improved. Widely varying educational requirements and unrealistic expectations need to be balanced in order to fill the shortage of forensic pathologists while enhancing the training of current coroners.
Join a coroner from rural northern Idaho as he looks back at his career’s most challenging cases and explains how to reform the system in It Can (and Does) Happen Here!
About the Author
Robert S. West, MD, FACS, is a native of North Dakota who was trained as a surgeon at Harvard. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and served as a physician-coroner in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, from 1970 to 2011. He practiced surgery while fulfilling coroner duties in Kootenai County and raised five children with his wife, Martha.