Polk County Medical Examiner

Staff Bios


Gregory A. Schmunk, MD
Polk County Chief Medical Examiner

Gregory was born in Ohio and grew up in San Diego, CA. He attended college at the University of CA, San Diego where he graduated Magna cum Laude with a major in Biology with concentration areas in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. He graduated medical school in 1983 from the University of Southern California and spent a brief time as a pediatrics resident at Children's Hospital, Los Angeles. He was then offered a post-doctoral fellowship at UCSD working in molecular genetics, immunology, and gene cloning, where he spent several years. He then completed two years of residency in Anatomic Pathology at the University of Washington, Seattle and then entered the fellowship program in Forensic Pathology at the King County Medical Examiner's Office in Seattle, WA where he spent one year as an Assistant Medical Examiner. Since his fellowship, he has served as a forensic pathologist with Northern California Forensic Pathology, a private medical corporation which provides forensic pathology services to Sacramento County, CA from 1989-1994. He was then Chief Medical Examiner for Brown and Door Counties in Green Bay, Wisconsin from 1994-1999, Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner for Santa Clara County (San Jose, CA) from 1999-2004, Chief Forensic Pathologist for the Stanislaus Co. (Modesto, CA) Coroner in 2004 and has been Medical Examiner for Polk Co. (Des Moines, IA) since August, 2004.

His fields of interest include wound pattern interpretation, child abuse, and firearm injuries. He is certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic and Forensic Pathology. He sits on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Dr. Schmunk is an ABMDI Registry Level Certified Medicolegal Death Investigator. He is the Vice-President elect of the National Association of Medical Examiners.

He has testified over 300 times in the Superior and Municipal Courts of Wisconsin, California, Washington and Iowa and has also testified before the CA State Senate Subcommittee on the Judiciary on matters of child homicide. He has performed over 3,800 forensic autopsies including over 390 homicides, and additionally has performed over 120 hospital autopsies. He is currently a technical advisor to CSI: Crime Scene Investigaton (CBS) and has also consulted for Vanished (FOX) and Bones (FOX).

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Contact Us

To report a death call (515) 286-3333
1801 Hickman Rd
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
(515) 286-2102 (Days)
(515) 286-3333 (Other times)
Fax: (515) 286-2208