In addition to its public health and medicolegal roles, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner provides educational and training programs.
Established in 1939, the agency is considered "one of the model Statewide Medicolegal Death Investigative Systems" and has one of the longest running forensic fellowship programs in the United States. Under the supervision of board-certified or board-eligible forensic pathologists, the fellow will perform postmortem examinations to determine the cause and manner of death in a wide variety of cases which occur in both urban and rural settings. The OCME investigates sudden unexpected and traumatic deaths, approximately 18,000 per year, in 23 counties. Approximately 6,000 postmortem examinations were conducted in 2020. A comprehensive curriculum includes daily morning and afternoon rounds, didactic lectures, journal clubs, and pending/consensus conferences. Scene investigations, rotations within the in-house toxicology lab, formal rotations with a local Crime Lab, forensic anthropology, forensic neuropathology, and cardiovascular pathology are also included. Courtroom testimony is strongly encouraged, first by shadowing attending medical examiners and followed by the fellow’s own testimony later in the year. The office is within walking distance to the University of Maryland Medical Center and School of Medicine and is easily accessible to The Johns Hopkins University Hospital. As a state employee, the fellow receives benefits such as health insurance, vacation, and sick time. Fellows are provided private office space along with protected time and funding to attend at least one national meeting.
Application for the fellowship program is
here. Send completed applications and inquiries to
Our program is a participating organization in the NRMP/NAME Forensic Pathology Fellowship Match. More information may be found here.
Pathology and Medical Student Electives
Rotating pathology residents and medical students participate in the investigation and post-mortem dissection of OCME cases, then discuss the findings and conclusions with the duty medical examiner. They also participate in the daily review conference where all the cases are discussed with the attending staff. They are supervised and instructed by the medical examiners of the State of Maryland. The Pathology residents and medical students are actively involved in the prosecutions during the Forensic Pathology rotation and will average approximately one case per day. They obtain experience during the rotation in the investigation of sudden unexpected deaths, the preparation of medicolegal autopsy reports, the elements of a forensic science team (includes odontology, anthropology, radiology and crime lab experts), and the interpretation of alcohol levels and drug testing results. They also accompany forensic investigators on scene investigations and Medical Examiners during courtroom testimony.
Please send all requests and inquiries to
Frances Glessner Lee Seminar in Homicide Investigation
Established in 1945 by Frances Glessner Lee, creator of the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, the Harvard Associates in Police Science homicide investigation seminar is the longest-running training program of its kind in the country. Offered first at Harvard University and later at OCME in Baltimore, the seminar remains the standard to which other similar courses aspire.
In the past, enrollment in the course was limited to experienced homicide investigators. Due to demand, enrollment has been expanded to include medical personnel, attorneys, other police officers and private investigators. The week-long seminar provides professionals with training in all aspects of forensic investigation.
For more information about the homicide investigation seminar, email
For Nutshell tour inquiries, email email@example.com
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