El Paso County Office of the Medical Examiner

  • Careers Options Forensic Science
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  • Criminalist:
  • Criminalists work with "physical" evidence such as fibers, hairs, body fluids, drugs and alcohol, bullets, etc. They may compare evidence found at a scene or on or near an alleged perpetrator with evidence found on a decedent's body. They can specialize in their respective fields such as toxicology, trace evidence, DNA, ballistics, etc. These forensic scientists have a bachelor's or a master's degree in the medical field or in forensic science.
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  • Medical Death Investigator:
  • These individuals go to death scenes, hospitals, and residences to investigate a death from a medical perspective. They gather pertinent information about the decedent, including the relevant medical history, circumstances surrounding death, and the surrounding environment. They take body temperatures, scene photographs, and may draw biological samples. Most offices require a bachelor's degree or at least two years of college with studies in the medical or law enforcement fields.
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  • Autopsy Technician:
  • The Autopsy Technician works under the direct supervision of the forensic pathologist. He/she prepares the decedent for autopsy, performs the evisceration, and collects body fluids for analysis. There is a lot of heavy lifting with this job. This job requires a high school diploma and knowledge in anatomy and physiology.
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  • Forensic Odontologits:
  • This is a dentist who specializes in the application of dental science to the identification of unknown human remains. They may also evaluate bite marks. This job requires a doctorate in medical dentistry.
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  • Forensic Anthropologist:
  • These scientists specialize in the identification of human remains and are experts in osteology (the study of bones). They determine sex, age, stature and ethnicity of individuals based on the assessment of the remains, and they can characterize skeletal injuries. This requires a masters or doctorate in anthropology.
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  • Forensic Psychologist/ Forensic Psychiatrist:
  • These doctors provide psychosocial assessments of individuals, either victims or perpetrators of crimes. A psychologist has a PhD in psychology and a psychiatrist has an M.D. or D.O. degree and has completed residency training in psychiatry.
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  • Forensic Pathologist (Medical Examiner):
  • A forensic pathologist is a physician who practices medicine as it deals with the law. He/she performs autopsies to determine cause and manner of death and also testifies in a court of law. This requires a D.O. or M.D. degree from a medical school, a residency in pathology, and completion of a fellowship (subspecialty training) in forensic pathology.
  • Internships at OME
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  • The El Paso County is proud to offer an internship that allows proper exposure to different aspects of forensic pathology and medicolegal death investigation, as well as opportunities for academic development. The space is very limited and applications are considered on a first-come-first-served basis. Applicants must be at least in their third year in college and contact our chief of operations (Irene Santiago: isantiago@epcounty.com) with 1) a letter of intent, 2) curriculum vitae, and 3) area of interest (we offer internships in the morgue or in the investigations area, although request for mixed internships are considered).
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  • To be considered for the internship position, applicants must pass a background check.
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  • What is a Forensic Pathologist?
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  • What is Cause and Manner of Death?
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  • Mario A Rascon, MD.
  • Chief Medical Examiner
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  • Irene Santiago
  • Chief of Operations
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  • 4505 Alberta Avenue
  • El Paso, Texas 79905
  • Phone (915) 532-1447
  • Fax: (915) 532-6630
  • medexaminquiry
    @epcounty.com