Dr. Carol J. Huser

Position: Coroner’'s Report

Email: chuser@durangoherald.com

I’m 70 now, and it’s time to make a change

A 60th birthday is a major milestone. To honor the occasion, I quit dying my hair. My first gray hair appeared in high school, and I took it in stride. At 30, I convinced myself my salt and pepper...

DATE: Nov. 4, 2019 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Abusive surgeons can compromise patients’ health

I’ve known surgeons who were censured for verbally abusing subordinates, belittling other doctors and throwing surgical instruments. I’ve stood toe to toe with more than one. The stereotype of the...

DATE: Oct. 7, 2019 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Should police officers attend autopsies?

A medical examiner’s controversial, and reportedly incorrect, testimony in a murder trial has re-energized the long-standing argument about whether police officers should attend autopsies....

DATE: Sept. 9, 2019 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Haunted by a mistake made 30 years ago

Thirty years ago, as a newly minted pathologist, I made a bad mistake. I had joined a group of doctors who, in addition to serving as medical examiners, ran a private laboratory where we examined...

DATE: Aug. 5, 2019 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Working alone can leave one blind to possibilities

I did La Plata County’s forensic autopsies as a solo practitioner for 12 years, a risk many forensic pathologists would be loath to take. Most forensic pathologists view solo practice as...

DATE: July 8, 2019 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

What to do when a man crosses a line?

Almost 40 years ago, while I was a student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, a faculty member made unwanted advances. He began by complimenting my clothes and appearance. During...

DATE: June 4, 2019 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Wrong or false? The difference holds consequences

When doctors disagree, one opinion is incorrect. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is set to decide whether an incorrect medical opinion is simply wrong or, in the legal sense, “false” as in...

DATE: May 6, 2019 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

For medical examiners, veterans’ death certificates are complicated

America owes military veterans a lot – perhaps enough to fudge their death certificates a little. Most medical examiners have been asked by the next of kin of a deceased veteran to put a disease or...

DATE: April 8, 2019 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Forensic pathologists in short supply

One of forensic medicine’s biggest failings is its inability to meet the needs of defense attorneys and their clients. Forensic pathologists are in short supply. We’d need almost double the current...

DATE: March 3, 2019 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Expert intuition: Sometimes, Sam sensed a murder

Sam Johnson, my chief forensic investigator in Florida, was remarkable. Sometimes, he just knew. He couldn’t say how he knew. He couldn’t explain what he looked for. But Sam was often able to...

DATE: Feb. 4, 2019 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

A high drug level is not always the cause of death

During my forensic pathology training, I autopsied a man who had the second-highest cocaine level ever reported. I was a fellow at the medical examiner’s office in Suffolk County, New York, when...

DATE: Jan. 7, 2019 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

Could letters from a medical examiner curb the opioid crisis?

There’s plenty of blame to go around for the opioid crisis. Drug traffickers, greedy pharmaceutical companies and inadequate treatment centers contribute. So do the prescribing practices of...

DATE: Dec. 3, 2018 | COLUMN: Coroner's Report

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