Thanks to our friends at Orlando Science Center, we had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Dr. Jan Garavaglia M.D. (aka Dr G!) before the “Demystifying Forensic Sciences” panel at Orlando Science Center’s Science Night Live event last weekend.
Being in the film industry, Dr. G has “performed autopsies” on many people I’ve known and worked with over the years (not actual autopsies mind you, local actors) for her show Dr. G Medical Examiner on Discovery Life Channel. After telling her this she shared a quick story about being scared on set of Dr. G. When things look so real on tv, even someone who sees grim images like Dr. G can be taken aback…
During her portion of the panel last Saturday, Dr. G explained the history of how the Medical Examiner came to be and what they do.
Some tips to stay off of Dr. G’s table? In the simplest of terms, be a law abiding citizen and stay healthy. Dr. G says, “Don’t hang out with the drug crowd and know your partner. We see so (many cases) of domestic violence, so know your partner.” Got it, Dr. G! What’s next?
“As far as the health side,” she says, “I’d say it’s all about knowing a couple of numbers; your blood pressure – silent killer. I see a lot of blood pressure (deaths) in people. People who don’t know they have diabetes, that could be a silent killer. People don’t know they have coronary artery disease – know your cholesterol. Also exercise and keep your weight down. Do those simple things and you probably won’t end up on my table.”
And, there’s that whole ‘life‘ thing. If it’s your time, it’s your time. Even Dr. G knows, “Some horrific, unbelievable accidents that no one could predict come through, I don’t want to say that you can totally avoid ever seeing me because sometimes… it just happens.”
Check out more of Dr. G’s tips on How Not To Die on hownottodie.com.
Let’s not leave this on such a morbid note. Being a public servant, Dr. G really is here to help us all. Whether it’s to give solace to a family who’s unexpectedly lost a loved one or to help local authorities solve a forensic mystery, at the end of the day, she just wants to help.
“I really care. I care about people. I care about doing a good job, and I’m very passionate about that,” Dr. G says. “Every day, I come in and want to do a good job. I want to do a good job for the people who’ve employed me. I want to do a good job for my fellow co-workers. I want to do a good job for those that are dead, and that need an answer and a cause of death for their family members. That’s really what drives me. The passion to do the best I can at what I can do.“