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Forensic Pathology

Medical examiner using a microscope

Forensic pathology is the branch of medicine concerned with the investigation of sudden and unnatural deaths. Forensic pathologists determine the cause and manner of death to provide answers for families, protect public health, and inform the criminal justice system.

Death investigations are conducted by medical examiners, who are physicians with highly specialized training in forensic pathology. Medical examiners draw on the full resources of OCME and its professionals, including medicolegal investigators, laboratories, and forensic anthropologists, among others, to complete timely and independent investigations.

OCME is a leading center for training, education and research in forensic pathology and related disciplines. OCME experts hold appointments at the NYU School of Medicine Department of Forensic Medicine, which is chaired by the Chief Medical Examiner. 

In addition to death investigations, OCME serves as the mortuary for the City and takes custody of decedents whose bodies are unclaimed from local healthcare institutions.