The Apprentice, M.E.

Dear Frank,
This letter is to elaborate on our discussion of 14 May 2004 in which I informed you that the Medical Examiner’s Office would no longer be needing your services. Based on your reaction – you seemed surprised – I felt I should go into further detail and explain why.
Frank, we hired you initially because you were the winner on Fox Television’s America’s Next Medical Examiner. This was an impressive feat considering the original pool of aspiring medical examiners was 12,000. We followed your progress, as we did that of the other contestants on the show. To be honest, early on in the season I was certain that Ms. Weiss was destined to win, hands down.
As the season progressed, you out-sang everyone in the disco competition and out-danced them the following week. Gradually you worked your way through the competition, rose to every occasion, and conquered every challenge. When America chose you during the two-hour season finale, I felt confident in my decision to hire you immediately. We were more than excited to bring a new star on board and into the Office of the Medical Examiner.
Frank, from the very beginning your superiors and associates were skeptical of your abilities. In your first autopsy, #04-291, you ignored the obvious blunt-force trauma to the head of a 59-year old Caucasian male and instead suggested that the gentleman “probably died from old-man-itis, if you know what I mean.” That alone suggested to all of us that perhaps you did not have the medical training or attitude necessary for this line of work.
Though the proper medical terms were pointed out to you time and time again, you continued to use “cock” and “beaver” to describe the genitalia. When Dr. Tyson fainted during autopsy #04-302, it was not because of the autopsy itself, as you had led me to believe. She has participated in over one hundred. It was because you suggested the decedent had “major hooters.” This unfortunate observation was captured on the audio recording of the autopsy, as was the sound of Dr. Tyson’s head striking the desk on her way to the floor.
As a result of your various errors, omissions and general incompetence, I have had to dedicate three valuable staff members to go over the records of nearly 60 autopsies you were involved with. So far, these men and women have had to expunge various details from your reports. These details include unwarranted wild guesses about the identity of killers in homicide cases (Jimmy Hoffa is dead, by the way), complete speculation about people based on their body shape, and the suggestion on at least two occasions that the decedents “deserved what they got” because they “looked like jerks” – one of whom was a Fulbright scholar with lymphoma.
You mocked one decedent because he had a crucifix tattoo, you claimed another decedent tried to touch your ass, and you began one autopsy with “Man, this guy’s got a horse cock.” Also captured on audio.
Speaking of audio, I’d like to talk to you about certain things that have turned up in the transcription logs. I’m most curious what led up to you shouting “Get back here!” during #04-330. I’m also concerned why “Daddy says sit over there, Maggie” is heard during #04-342. Frankly I’d like to know why #04-349 has the bone saw running for 52 minutes, followed by a half hour of expletives.
Frank, I have been working 22 years as a Medical Examiner and until your arrival have never once come across “Cause of Death: Death” on any certificates. These are legal documents that can not be easily changed. Also, “Dude got the shit kicked out of him” does not adequately convey the medical details one needs to provide in an autopsy report. At least three court cases have been thrown out because of such certificates.
The amount of embarrassment and work you have caused our office is staggering.
In retrospect, I should not have assumed in any way that your ability to win a song and dance competition, rodeo, obstacle course and home redecoration challenge would in any way be proof that you had talents, or indeed training, as a medical examiner. Frankly, I assumed you were all medical students. I’ve only recently discovered that Jeremy Hobbs was a fireman and LaQuinta Rae’s accomplishment was being sodomized on Had I known the selection criteria were so low, I would never, ever, ever have blindly hired the winner of America’s Next Medical Examiner.
This in no way means I didn’t thoroughly enjoy your performances during the show. Your rendition of “I Love The Nightlife” was gorgeous. I was also amazed at your collectedness during the Alligator Challenge. You won America’s heart, Frank. Unfortunately, you lost #04-299’s.
I am afraid we need to part ways. For my sake, the sake of this office, and so the souls of the dead can be at peace.
M. Steurner, M.D.
Office of the Medical Examiner