Force medical examiner

Force Medical Examiner or Forensic Medical Examiner (FME) is any doctor used by the police in the United Kingdom. There are usually multiple doctors utilized by a police force, and the FME is the one who happens to be on call. Qualified doctors serving as FMEs generally serve as part of a regional pool for the police stations in their area.


The police may call upon the services of an FME for several different reasons, the most common of which include:

  • To confirm and certify death at the scene of a sudden death,
  • To examine and provide medical care to injured persons in police custody, or police officers injured on duty,
  • To examine those who claim police officers used excessive force or similar malpractice, and record their findings accordingly and officially,
  • To be present to take blood samples from suspected drink-drivers who are unable or refusing to provide a breath or urine sample,
  • To provide official medical opinion where it is needed (e.g. in cases where impairment is a factor), the FME can also be called to court for a medical opinion where a medical factor is disputed.

Article on the work of an FME in PULSE (General practitioners' online magazine)

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