The county medical examiner is appointed by the county mayor, subject to confirmation by the county legislative body, based on a recommendation from a convention of physicians resident in the county. A county medical examiner must be a physician who is either a graduate of an accredited medical school authorized to confer upon graduates the degree of doctor of medicine (M.D.) and who is duly licensed in Tennessee, or is a graduate of a recognized osteopathic college authorized to confer the degree of doctor of osteopathy (D.O.) and who is licensed to practice osteopathic medicine in Tennessee, and must be elected from a list of a maximum of two (2) doctors of medicine or osteopathy nominated by convention of the physicians, medical or osteopathic, resident in the county, the convention to be called for this purpose by the county mayor. T.C.A. § 38-7-104.
If it is not possible to obtain an acceptance as a county medical examiner from a physician in a county, authority is given for the election of a county medical examiner from an adjacent or another county. A county medical examiner, when temporarily unable to perform the duties of the office, has the authority to deputize any other physician in the area to act as county medical examiner during the absence. If the county legislative body fails to certify a county medical examiner for a county or if the county medical examiner resigns or is unable to fulfill the duties of the office during the interim between county legislative body sessions and a deputy has not been appointed by the county medical examiner, the chief medical examiner shall have the authority to appoint a county medical examiner to serve until the next session of the county legislative body. T.C.A. § 38-7-104.
A county medical examiner shall serve a five-year term, and shall be eligible for reappointment by the county mayor with confirmation by the county legislative body. T.C.A. § 38-7-104.