Michael Rein, DC, (NUHS ’02) a chiropractic physician with a practice in Woodstock, will be among the candidates running for McHenry County Coroner. The election will be held March 17 with early voting beginning March 2.
Although it’s a position not frequently filled by chiropractic physicians, Dr. Rein is making efforts to show how well-suited DCs are for the role. The main function of a coroner’s office is determining cause and manner of death along with whether or not an autopsy should be performed by a medical examiner. So far in the state of Illinois, the position of the coroner has been held mostly by funeral directors, MDs, dentists and those in law enforcement.
In addition to striving to achieve the highest quality death investigation possible in an objective manner, Dr. Rein believes the role of the coroner’s office is also about doing outreach to help the overall health of the community.
“DCs are on the front lines of people with chronic pain and the opioid epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people. We have seen the obesity rate that continues to climb higher, especially in our youth, and the increase in diabetes. Doing outreach to help combat these things is what we do,” he said.
Dr. Rein’s rigorous DC training at NUHS in anatomy, physiology, pathology and diseases of the body will also be useful along with his private practice experience studying and reviewing X-rays, MRIs, toxicology reports and clinical notes from MDs.
Dr. Rein said the only additional experience a DC may need for the role is an understanding of the nuances, rules and laws of how government functions. While Dr. Rein was able to gain this knowledge during his time on the McHenry County Board, for other DCs who may be interested in public office, he highly recommends taking the 4-day Medicolegal Death Investigation course through St. Louis University.
“Another component that chiropractors have is compassion,” Dr. Rein said. “We see people that come into our office in pain, either chronic or acute. I can’t tell you how many times, and I am sure many of my fellow colleagues can attest,patients come in and say that I am their last hope. As coroner, helping families and next of kin during very trying times will require a similar type of compassion.”
If elected, Dr. Rein believes it could help benefit the chiropractic profession as a whole.
“Being a doctor of chiropractic and a coroner will not only help broaden our field but give us more visibility within our communities,” Dr. Rein said.