Jan Garavaglia

Jan Carla Garavaglia (born September 14, 1956), better known as "Dr. G", served as the Chief Medical Examiner for Orange and Osceola counties in Orlando, Florida from 2004 until her retirement in May 2015.[1][2] She starred in the hit series Dr. G: Medical Examiner on the Discovery Health Channel which first aired in July 2004 and ran until 2012. Repeats of the show are aired on the Discovery Life Channel and Justice Network.[3] The show is ranked No. 1 for Discovery Health and is also broadcast in Australia, Europe, South America and South Africa. Garavaglia has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live,[4] The Rachael Ray Show,[5] The Doctors and The Dr. Oz Show.[6]

Jan Garavaglia
Jan Carla Garavaglia

(1956-09-14) September 14, 1956 (age 64)
Other namesDr. G
OccupationChief Medical Examiner
Years active1988–2015
Spouse(s)Kevin Kowaleski (1980–2006)
Mark Wallace (2007–present)

Early life and educationEdit

Garavaglia was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Charles and Jennie Garavaglia. Her father worked as a butcher, and her mother worked briefly as a secretary and shoe model. Garavaglia has two brothers. She attended Concord Elementary School and Lindbergh High School, graduating in 1974. Garavaglia received her medical degree from the St. Louis University School of Medicine and completed an internship in internal medicine and residency in anatomic/clinical pathology at St. Louis University Hospitals. She also completed a fellowship in forensic pathology at the Dade County Medical Examiner's Office in Miami. She is board-certified in combined anatomic and clinical pathology and forensic pathology.


Garavaglia married her first husband in 1980. In 1988, she got her first job as an Associate Medical Examiner in Duval County, Jacksonville, Florida and gave birth to their first son. Garavaglia and her family moved to Georgia in 1991 where she took a job as Associate Medical Examiner for the next two years. In 1993, the family moved once again to San Antonio, Texas where Garavaglia spent the next ten years as a Medical Examiner in the Bexar County Forensic Science Center. Their second son[7] was born during this time, in 1994. Garavaglia and her first husband later divorced in 2006, and in 2007 she married her second husband, Dr. Mark Wallace, whom she had met years earlier while attending medical school. Dr. Wallace has made several appearances on Dr. G: Medical Examiner as an expert in infectious disease and internal medicine. The couple reside in Mount Vernon, WA.


One of the first cases Garavaglia worked on as a medical examiner was the Morning Glory Funeral Home scandal, in which thirty-seven bodies – many in advanced stages of decomposition – were found in a funeral home. After several caskets that the funeral director had buried were exhumed, Garavaglia determined that the director had placed multiple persons in single caskets, and pocketed the money he received.[8]

Garavaglia, as an associate medical examiner in Bexar County, Texas, examined the body of Tracie McBride,[9] and then autopsied her at the Bexar County Forensic Science Center in San Antonio, Texas; the case was covered on Dr. G.[10] McBride was murdered by Louis Jones, who was executed by the federal government in 2003.[11]

On December 11, 2008, the remains of a small child, confirmed to be those of missing Caylee Anthony, were found near the Anthony residence in Orlando. As the location fell within Garavaglia's jurisdiction, it became Garavaglia who was the one who examined the remains and made the determination.[12]

In 2008, Garavaglia authored How Not to Die, in which she relates some of her own experiences as a medical examiner to educate readers how to better care for their health and avoid premature death.[13]

On May 18, 2012, Garavaglia delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Science Olympiad National Tournament held at the University of Central Florida.[14]

On May 15, 2015, after over two decades in the practice of forensic pathology, Garavaglia announced her retirement from the District 9 medical examiner's office, to be effective on May 28, 2015. She had previously stated that she intended to retire after their youngest son left to attend college in 2013, but ended up staying on as the chief medical examiner for District 9 for two more years. She told the local news reporter interviewing her that after her retirement she would be moving to her husband's hometown, 90 minutes north of Seattle, Washington.[15]

How Not to DieEdit

How Not to Die: Surprising Lessons on Living Longer, Safer, and Healthier from America’s Favorite Medical Examiner is a book about safe and healthy living written by Jan Garavaglia.[16] The book was released on October 14, 2008 by Crown Publishing, a division of Random House. Using cases from her 20 years of experience as a medical examiner, Garavaglia identifies some lifestyle and behavioral choices that may result in premature death.[17] She also offers advice on how to be smart and pro-active about one's health. The Library Journal has called the book "surprisingly entertaining".[18]


  1. ^ "Chief medical examiner, 'Dr. G,' retiring". Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Medical examiner Dr. G retires". Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  3. ^ http://www.justicenetworktv.com/shows/dr-g-medical-examiner
  4. ^ "Real-Life 'CSI'". CNN.com. December 29, 2005. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  5. ^ "How Not To Die". The Rachael Ray Show. January 7, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  6. ^ "Dr. Oz Show to feature Dr. G and 'mini Dr. Oz' from Orlando". Orlando Sentinel. April 22, 2010. Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  7. ^ "Orlando Medical Examiner's Tv Show Draws Acclaim, Devoted Fans". The Gainesville Sun. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  8. ^ "LocateTV.com". Retrieved 2009-11-21.
  9. ^ "Life Interrupted" (2007), Dr. G: Medical Examiner, about 15:25-15:30 of 44:34.
  10. ^ "Life Interrupted" (2007), Dr. G: Medical Examiner, about 6:45-6:55 of 44:34.
  11. ^ "Echoes of an earlier execution Eight months before Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. killed Dru Sjodin, Louis Jones Jr. was put to death for killing Minnesotan Tracie McBride." Minneapolis Star Tribune. September 24, 2006. Section Twin Cities + Region p. B1. Available at Pressreader, Available at the archives of the Star-Tribune.
  12. ^ Lundin, Leigh; Garavaglia, Jan (2009-11-22). "Florida News: Casey Anthony". autopsy reports. Orlando: Criminal Brief.
  13. ^ "Learn 'How Not to Die'". ABC News. December 1, 2008. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
  14. ^ "Keynote Speaker for the 2012 National Science Olympiad Opening Ceremonies". Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  15. ^ "Chief medical examiner, 'Dr. G,' retiring: Garavaglia worked on Casey Anthony investigation". wesh.com. May 15, 2015.
  16. ^ Dempsey, John (5 October 2007). "'Dr. G' Garavaglia signs book deal".
  17. ^ "Discovery Health's 'Dr. G' Rolls on". TVWeek.
  18. ^ "Science & Technology". Library Journal. August 15, 2008. Archived from the original on January 27, 2013.

External linksEdit