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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.


The Autopsy Assistant performs technical work in support of the UM Pathology Department/Forensic Pathologist during autopsies and other postmortem examinations. Assistance to the resident/fellow/forensic pathologist involves opening the body, evisceration, reconstruction of the body after the autopsy, collecting toxicological and other body fluid samples during autopsies; arranging x-rays and photographs of human remains; transporting bodies from cooler to table; storage of samples; clean up and maintenance of the morgue, supplies and evidence and maintaining a catalogue of the morgue inventory. This also involves responsibility for receiving bodies from the scene, releasing bodies to funeral homes and maintaining the proper chain of custody with regard to the human remains and any clothing, personal effects, jewelry, etc. that may accompany it. Insure proper handling of any paperwork associated with receiving or releasing bodies. Prepares morgue for autopsies including laying out supplies and instruments, transferring body to autopsy table, undressing and assisting the residents with recording description of the body. Prepare body for autopsy; weighing and measuring human remains; may open bodies and under direction from the pathologist/resident, may remove organs or tissue; sutures and cleans body upon completion of autopsy. Ensure proper handling, transfers, labeling and storage of specimens.

Cleaning and maintaining work area and equipment using sanitation/decontamination, safety and biohazard control measures. Photographing of human remains; coordinating handling, storage and transfers of photographs and maintaining related records. Monitor level of supplies, conducting inventories and ordering supplies and materials as needed. Perform other duties as assigned.

Ability to physically perform the essential functions of the job including lifting human remains greater than fifty (50) pounds and standing for prolonged periods.

Required Qualifications*

High school diploma or equivalent. Six (6) months of experience handling bodies in a morgue, mortuary or similar setting; knowledge physiology/anatomy; or any combination of education or experience which would demonstrate the ability to perform the work. Knowledge of safety and biohazard control measures; use and operation of photographic equipment; cleaning and sanitizing practices. The ability to follow oral and written directions and protocols; deal with death and human remains in various stages of decomposition, disease and trauma; handle the psychological effects of death; maintain the confidentiality and integrity of information; adhere to stringent sanitation and biohazard control measures and communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Work Locations

This position will be located at the WCMEO in Detroit. Address: 1300 Warren Avenue, Detroit, Michigan.

Additional Information

This position reports to the Administrative Manager Associate Healthcare and Assistant Medical Examiner.

Additional Information

WCMEO is a 24 hour per day, 7 day per week operation.  Working weekends and holidays will be required. Autopsy attendants are typically scheduled for an 8 hour shift between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.  Overtime may be required.

Union Affiliation

This position is covered under the collective bargaining agreement between the U-M and the AFSCME union, which contains and settles all matters with respect to wages, benefits, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.

Background Screening

Michigan Medicine conducts background screening and pre-employment drug testing on job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent job offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background screenings.  Background screenings are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Report Act.

Mission Statement

Michigan Medicine improves the health of patients, populations and communities through excellence in education, patient care, community service, research and technology development, and through leadership activities in Michigan, nationally and internationally.  Our mission is guided by our Strategic Principles and has three critical components; patient care, education and research that together enhance our contribution to society.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.