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Office of the Medical Investigator, Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) investigates any death occurring in the State of New Mexico that is sudden, violent, untimely, unexpected, or where a person is found dead and the cause of death is unknown. The OMI serves the people of New Mexico by providing impartial, professional, and accurate death investigation and certification, comprehensively recording all investigational information through formal documentation, providing professional counseling to grieving families, conducting infectious disease surveillance and identification, and assisting law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations.

Office of the Medical Investigator, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Office of the Medical Investigator, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Education, Research and Service

As a special program of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, the OMI also provides advanced forensic pathology instruction to residents, fellows, and numerous University classes related to forensic investigation and medical education. The program operates out of a central office located near the UNM Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The OMI directs all death-related investigative activities statewide. Every county in New Mexico has specially trained and certified Field Deputy Medical Investigators (FDMI) who conduct field investigations at the scene of death to collect information.

The Radiology-Pathology Center for Forensic Imaging (CFI), at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine is located within the OMI.  The CFI is currently the only forensic center in the United States with in-house computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facilities, which support forensic research and education, and the clinical service of the OMI. As a result of this all autopsy services are conducted in Albuquerque in a state-of-the-art facility which includes both CT and MRI scanners for post-mortem imaging evaluations. Autopsies are performed by forensic pathologists with the assistance of morphology services. 

Mission and Vision

As a special program of the UNM School of Medicine, the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator’s vision is to continually expand the quality and the breadth of the services which we provide to the citizens of New Mexico and the world-wide community of Forensic Pathology. We aspire to keep abreast of, to participate in, and to lead in the development of far-reaching technologies that will significantly elevate the level of knowledge of our unique field. We are committed to transforming this knowledge into programs and services that directly improve public health. We are further dedicated to the innovative use of advanced technical communications to inform the community and the public of the important discoveries, information, and statistics emanating from our service and scholarship.