Jan Garavaglia

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Jan Garavaglia
Born Jan Carla Garavaglia
(1956-09-14) September 14, 1956 (age 62)
Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Residence Mount Vernon, Washington
Other names Dr. G
Occupation Chief Medical Examiner
Years active 1988–2015
Spouse(s) Kevin Kowaleski (1980–2006)
Mark Wallace (2007–present)
Children 2
Website http://www.hownottodie.com

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. 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,[3] The Rachael Ray Show,[4] The Doctors and The Dr. Oz Show.[5]

Early life and education

Garavaglia was born in Saint 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 Saint Louis University School of Medicine and completed an internship in internal medicine and residency in anatomic/clinical pathology at Saint 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 her 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. Her second son[6] 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 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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10]

On May 15, 2015, after over two decades in the practice of forensic pathology, Garavaglia announced her retirement from the District 9 medical examiners office, to be effective on May 28, 2015. She had previously stated that she intended to retire after her 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 husbands hometown, 90 minutes north of Seattle, Washington.[11]


  1. "Chief medical examiner, 'Dr. G,' retiring". Retrieved 22 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Medical examiner Dr. G retires". Retrieved 22 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Real-Life 'CSI'". CNN.com. December 29, 2005. Retrieved September 28, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "How Not To Die". [1]. Aired: January 7, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help); External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Dr. Oz Show to feature Dr. G and 'mini Dr. Oz' from Orlando". [2]. Aired: April 22, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2010. Check date values in: |date= (help); External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Orlando Medical Examiner's Tv Show Draws Acclaim, Devoted Fans". The Gainesville Sun. Retrieved February 24, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "LocateTV.com". Retrieved 2009-11-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Lundin, Leigh; Garavaglia, Jan (2009-11-22). "Florida News: Casey Anthony". autopsy reports. Orlando: Criminal Brief.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Learn 'How Not to Die'". ABC News. December 1, 2008. Retrieved February 24, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Keynote Speaker for the 2012 National Science Olympiad Opening Ceremonies". Retrieved December 4, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. http://www.wesh.com/news/chief-medical-examiner-dr-g-retiring/33043040