The Suffolk County Office of the Medical Examiner is staffed by 7 full-time forensic pathologists: 5 Deputy Medical Examiners, one Deputy Chief Medical Examiner, and a Chief Medical Examiner. The pathologists are from diverse backgrounds, having trained at offices such as the Dade County (Miami, FL) Medical Examiner, Bexar County (San Antonio, TX) Medical Examiner, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), and the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), as well as having worked in various Medical Examiner and Coroner jurisdictions including the New York City OCME, Nassau County Medical Examiner, City of Philadelphia Medical Examiner, Maricopa County (Phoenix, AZ) Medical Examiner and counties within the states of West Virginia, Indiana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Michigan, Delaware, and South Carolina. This rich assembly of forensic pathologists has allowed for the development of subspecialty expertise, covering gunshot wounds, sudden natural death, pediatric forensic pathology, and diving incidents. Pathologists work closely with medical forensic death investigators- physician's assistants specifically trained in medicolegal death investigation and certified by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI). Additionally, pathologists respond to all homicide scenes within Suffolk County as well as circumstances of suspicious death.
In addition to their daily duties of performing medicolegal autopsies, Medical Examiners participate in postautopsy briefing sessions with detectives of the Suffolk County Police Department Homicide Command, in pretrial preparation with assistant district attorneys from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, and in actual court testimony in criminal courts in Riverhead and Central Islip, NY. They also assist in providing education and training to pathology residents from the Stony Brook and Winthrop University Pathology Departments and to medical students, physician assistant students, Emergency Medical Technicians, nursing students, and undergraduate students considering a career in forensic pathology or another specialty in forensic science. Some of the Medical Examiners also lecture to medical students and residents at Stony Brook University Hospital and have presented lectures to Suffolk County EMTs about various subjects in forensic pathology. Medical Examiners also play an active part in the Suffolk County Community Outreach Drug Awareness program, “The Ugly Truth," a multidisciplinary presentation to parents of preteen children emphasizing the importance of primary prevention and of being engaged sufficiently with their children in order to remain in tune with their milieu. The Medical Examiners' component of this program is crucial in that it underscores the importance of the toll that the opioid epidemic has taken on the families of addicts, including the profound reality of autopsy findings and identification of deceased family members at the OME.