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CCMEO Student Shadow Program

outside view of building
As of 3/11/20, all community outreach programs have been suspended until further notice.

The Medical Examiner's Office is currently accepting applications from eligible students.

For any other information about the Medical Examiner's office or program contact Christopher Harris at 443-7157 or
The CCMEO Student Shadow Program will consist of 12 participants during a day long program. The attendants consist of either high school or college level students (Juniors and Seniors will receive preference). The top 16 candidates for each program will be accepted, with the first 12 given Spring session slots, the other 4 wait-listed in case of cancellations. Remaining wait list candidates will have first option for Fall slots (NOTE: High school applications cannot be carried over for a college program slot).
The program is a mix of education-based lectures and hands-on learning. The objective of the program is to provide students with greater exposure to the associated fields of forensic science that will inform and direct students toward educational and career goals in these fields.

CCMEO Student Shadow Program Application

 2020 Dates: 

 High School 


Spring Session:  Friday, April 17, 2020   Friday, April 24, 2020
Fall Session:    Friday, November 13, 2020  Friday, December 11, 2020

APPLICATION DEADLINES! Spring session - March 27, 2020 Fall session - October 30, 2020

High School Shadow Program Agenda

09:30 – 10:00 Introduction to CCMEO
10:00 – 12:00 Facility Tour
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch break (Brown bag)
1:00 – 2:00 Death Scene Investigation
2:00 – 3:00 Mock Scene Investigation (hands-on)
3:00 – 3:15 Closing / Dismissal

College Shadow Program Agenda

Student Shadow

08:00 – 08:30 Introduction to CCMEO
08:30 – 10:00 Viewing & Tour
10:00 – 12:00 Demonstration Autopsy
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch break (Brown bag)
1:00 – 2:00 Death Scene Investigation
2:00 – 3:00 Mock Scene Investigation (hands-on)
3:00 – 3:15 Closing / Dismissal

Introduction to CCMEO

Get a brief history and overview of the Medical Examiner’s Office and its previous history when it was the Cuyahoga Coroner’s Office.

Facility Tour

Take a guided tour of the 200,000+ s.f. Medical Examiner’s facility and Regional Forensic Science Laboratory.

Death Scene Investigation

Hear presentations by our professional investigators on the basic principles of the investigation of death scenes.

Mock Scene Investigation

Walk the scene! A hands-on application of the principles of death scene investigation in our Mock Crime Scene Training Area that features four changeable interactive “mock scenes” depicting several types of cases under the Medical Examiner’s jurisdiction.

College Shadow Students ONLY!


Sit in with medical and professional staff on the morning caseload review session.

Demonstration Autopsy

Witness an actual autopsy conducted by one of the staff forensic pathologists. (College-Only)

Available slots are limited to 12 per session (4 sessions total: Spring and Fall; College and High School).  Juniors and Seniors will receive preference.  High School students under 18 will require parental permission in addition to other appointment requirements. 

A Letter of recommendation from a teacher in your field of study should be supplied in addition to a letter from the Director of the Department or Advisor / Principal of your school.

A Confidentiality and Waiver of Liability form must be filled out as well.
The Media Release form is optional. All applications should be accompanied by a professional cover letter and resume.

Ohio Revised Code 313.23 - View of autopsy by interested person.
As used in this section:

  • “Interested person” means an employee of the coroner’s office, a physician, dentist, nurse, professor at a medical school, medical student, medical resident, nursing student, an employee of a procurement organization, a member of a law enforcement agency, or any other person the coroner, in the coroner’s discretion, determines is appropriate.
  • “Procurement organization” has the same meaning as in section 2108.01of the Revised Code.
  • The coroner may allow an interested person to view an autopsy of a decedent without the interested person receiving permission to view the decedent’s autopsy from the decedent’s next of kin.
  • No person who is under eighteen years of age and who is not an interested person may view an autopsy.

Effective Date: 08-17-2006; 2008 HB529 04-07-2009


Thomas P. Gilson, M.D.
11001 Cedar Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

A National Association of Medical Examiner’s (N.A.M.E.) accredited office.