Office of Chief Medical Examiner311Search all websites

New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson Appointed as Trustee of the American Board of Pathology

January 30, 2017

 - Distinguished expert to help set national standards in pathology and forensic pathology -

NEW YORK – The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) today announced that Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed a Trustee of the American Board of Pathology (ABP), the organization responsible for promoting the field of pathology and supporting certified pathologists practicing in the United States.

Dr. Sampson has served as the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City since December 2014, when she became the first woman appointed to lead OCME. She also serves as a Clinical Professor and Chair of the Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology at New York University School of Medicine.

“Pathology and forensic pathology are cornerstones of medicine that inform the direction of patient care, the development of public health policy, and help to solve crimes,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “With her appointment as a Trustee of the American Board of Pathology, Dr. Sampson will share the expertise she has cultivated in New York City to help guide and enrich these vital professions for the benefit of all.”  

“I am honored to receive this distinguished appointment to the American Board of Pathology,” said Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson. “As I assume this additional role, I look forward to serving as a guardian of the highest standards of excellence in pathology and forensic pathology, drawn from my experience serving the families of New York City. I am also thrilled to encourage the ongoing professional advancement of my fellow practitioners to help ensure the provision of quality care throughout the country.”

Pathology is the branch of medical science that concerns the causes, nature and effects of disease. Pathologists are highly trained physicians who play an essential role in the healthcare system by analyzing patient cells and tissue in the laboratory to provide doctors with a diagnosis. Forensic pathologists, also known as medical examiners, work in the sub-specialty of pathology that examines the bodies of people who have died suddenly, unexpectedly or violently, in order to determine the cause and manner of death for the benefit of public health and the criminal justice system. There are approximately 17,000 board-certified pathologists practicing in the United States.

Established in 1936, the ABP is a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties. The ABP establishes certification and maintenance of certification standards in the main areas of pathology and its diverse subspecialties, develops and conducts examinations for candidates seeking certification in pathology, and provides input on policies and professional ethics, among other activities.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Sampson serve as a Trustee of the ABP,” said Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the American Board of Pathology. “Dr. Sampson’s professionalism, expertise and commitment to excellence will contribute to the advancement of the profession of pathology and forensic pathology.”  

The ABP consists of 12 Trustees who represent the primary areas of anatomic and clinical pathology, and a broad range of pathology subspecialties. Dr. Sampson holds the only Trustee appointment dedicated to forensic pathology. As a Trustee, Dr. Sampson will chair the Test Development and Advisory Committee for Forensic Pathology, where she will be directly responsible for formulating questions for that subspecialty’s certification examination. She will also serve on the ABP’s Ethics and Professionalism Committee.

“We’re thrilled by this recognition of Dr. Sampson's leadership in forensic pathology,” said Robert I. Grossman, MD, Dean and CEO of NYU Langone Medical Center and the NYU School of Medicine. “Her new position helps ensure that the next generation of forensic pathologists will receive the best preparation possible for their crucial roles in communities nationwide.”

Dr. Sampson has been appointed for an initial three-year term as a Trustee of the ABP, with the expectation of term extensions. Trustees customarily serve for 3-4 three-year terms.

The appointment of Dr. Sampson continues a history of service from New York City forensic pathology leaders to the ABP. Dr. Charles Hirsch, the late former Chief Medical Examiner of New York City, served as a Trustee of the ABP from 1981 to 1992.

A native of New York City, Dr. Sampson earned her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at Rockefeller University, and received her degree in medicine at Cornell University Medical College, followed by a residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. She brings years of experience to her role as Chief Medical Examiner, having served as Acting Chief Medical Examiner, First Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, Senior Medical Examiner, and Cardiovascular Pathology Consultant, among other positions at OCME since 1998. She serves as President of the Society of Cardiovascular Pathology, the Vice-Chairman of the Residency Review Committee for Pathology of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and is a member of the National Association of Medical Examiners, the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Dr. Sampson has published widely on forensic pathology and microbiology, including 29 articles and 4 book chapters, and serves as an Associate Editor of the journal Cardiovascular Pathology. She is the recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the Society of Cardiovascular Pathology and the E.R. Squibb and Sons Senior Thesis Prize for Contribution to Scientific Research. Dr. Sampson is board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and Forensic Pathology and is participating in Maintenance of Certification.

Established in 1918, OCME is the first governmental agency of its type in the United States and provides expert services across the range of forensic science disciplines. OCME operates the largest public crime DNA laboratory in the world, in addition to laboratories in toxicology and histology, and the nation’s only public molecular genetics laboratory. The agency is home to the country’s largest forensic pathology training program, having trained over 100 board-certified forensic pathologists since 1990. OCME also houses a department of forensic anthropology, and maintains a division of specially trained experts prepared to respond to any and all fatality events, no matter what hazards may be encountered during recovery.

For more information, contact the OCME Public Affairs Office at (212) 447-2041.