Alex Ingram ’14 interns with Kentucky’s Chief Medical Examiner
Chief medical examiners and their work are often the subjects of primetime dramas or news headlines — not so for Centre College student Alex Ingram ’14, who spent three weeks interning with Kentucky Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Tracey Corey ’83.
“I first learned about this internship while taking a forensic chemistry class with Dr. Muzyka,” Ingram explains. “She mentioned that Dr. Corey is a Centre grad and that previous Centre students have had successful internships with her.
“I’ve long had an interest in forensics and pathology,” she adds. “This internship seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about both.”
Ingram stayed busy setting up and witnessing autopsies of bodies received each night. In the afternoons, she assisted with compiling segments of the annual report and other important data collection and statistics work. She especially enjoyed the opportunity to work with medical experts.
“I really enjoy listening to the doctors as they examine each organ for diseases, non-lethal and lethal alike,” she says. “They have such an immense knowledge and an amazing eye for detail; they quickly pick out any hints of pathology. It’s awesome to study right by their side as they work and ask them questions.”
Ingram also immersed herself in the thorough detail work associated with this type of internship.
“I was surprised by how much I enjoyed learning how to cut, prepare and dye tissue samples and microscopy slides for the doctors,” she explains. “Preparing slides take a lot of patience and proper technique. There’s a big sense of accomplishment seeing the transformation from a several-inch piece of an organ to a finished microscope slide in less than 24 hours.”
Importantly, Ingram’s internship dovetails nicely with her future goal of becoming a physician assistant.
“I’m working toward applying to the Physician Assistant program at University of Kentucky,” she says. “Studying pathology with the expert doctors at the medical examiner’s office is an excellent way to get experience with human anatomy and disease processes.”
Learn more about internships at Centre.
By Mariel Smith