OMI focused on education, research, and service to 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 determines the cause and manner of death in these cases, and provides formal death certification.
As a special program of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, the OMI also has a strong educational mission, offering training for community workers and formal programs for UNM medical students, residents, and fellows. OMI pathologists, radiologists and epidemiologists are appointed as faculty in the Department of Pathology. The program operates out of a central office located near the UNM Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
J. Keith Pinckard, MD, PhD
Ross E. Zumwalt, MD
Chief Medical Investigator
State of 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.
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. Toxicology testing is referred to outside laboratories which are accredited by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology (ABFT).
All documentation is archived by the Office of the Medical Investigator and is available as provided for by public record statutes and regulations. Such a strongly defined and professionally staffed system provides investigative agencies, the medical community, researchers, and the citizens of New Mexico with standardized death investigation protocols and a central repository for the information compiled during those medicolegal investigations.