Medical Examiner Homepage

Commissioner Andrew Haggerty Chief Medical Examiner
Mario A Rascon, MD, MHCM.

Irene Santiago
Chief of Operations

Contact Information

4505 Alberta Avenue
El Paso, Texas 79905
Phone (915) 273-3403
Fax: (915) 273-3404
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The National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) Accreditation Program has the explicit purpose of improving the quality of the forensic/medicolegal investigation of death. Accreditation is an endorsement by NAME that the office provides an adequate environment in which a forensic pathologist may practice the profession, and provides reasonable assurances that the system well serves its jurisdiction



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.

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.

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.

Forensic Odontologist:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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