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About Us

The Medical Examiner Department exists to provide medicolegal investigative services for the citizens of Miami-Dade County.   The work of the department focuses on what is generally termed “forensic pathology.”  This field of study combines the efforts of legal and police investigations with those of medicine and science to ascertain the facts surrounding deaths, particularly the cause and manner of death.

Our department interrelates with many other groups and federal agencies, such as F.B.I., N.T.S.B. (for National Transportation Safety Board), F.A.A., State Attorney’s and Public Defender’s Offices, police departments, medical offices and hospitals, funeral homes, and the media.  The Medical Examiner Department employs approximately sixty-five persons in its various bureaus, which include: pathology, toxicology, medical records, morgue, photography, investigations, and public interment.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Medical Examiner Department is to provide accurate, timely, dignified, compassionate and professional death investigative services for the citizens of Miami-Dade County, together with education, consultation and research for local and national medical, legal, academic and law enforcement communities.

General Information

The Medical Examiner Department exists to provide medicolegal investigative services for the citizens of Miami-Dade County. The work of the department focuses on what is generally termed "forensic pathology."  This field of study combines the efforts of legal and police investigations with those of medicine and science to ascertain the facts surrounding deaths, particularly the cause and manner of death.

Our department interrelates with many other groups and federal agencies, such as F.B.I., N.T.S.B. (for National Transportation Safety Board), F.A.A., State Attorney's and Public Defender's Offices, police departments, medical offices and hospitals, funeral homes, and the media. The Medical Examiner Department employs approximately sixty-five persons in its various bureaus, which include: pathology, toxicology, medical records, morgue, photography, investigations, and public interment.

Florida Medical Examiner System

The State of Florida adopted the medical examiner system in 1970.  The system was designed to correlate in most part with the state judicial districts.  Thus the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner Department corresponds with the 11th judicial district.  You can learn more about the statewide system by visiting the  FDLE-Medical Examiners Commission website or the F.A.M.E. (Florida Association of Medical Examiners) website.

History

In the earlier part of the twentieth century, Florida elected peace justices in each county who held inquests when deaths occurred.   Following World War II, certain persons recognized the need for a medical examiner system.

Facility

The Joseph H. Davis Center for Forensic Pathology (1 Bob Road Miami, FL 33136) is a three building complex of 89,500 square feet set on the perimeter of the campus of the Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami Medical School Center. The design concept provides a warm human environment for visitors from both the public and private sectors. The approach to the building presents a balance of South Florida tropical trees, washed river stone and warm earth tones of patterned brick design lushly landscaped with tropical shrubs and bushes indigenous to the area. Building designs are totally functional and serve their purpose well.

Services to the Public

The Medical Examiner Department's (ME) mission statement printed above affirms that the department's main focus is on death investigation.  Since all non-natural deaths occurring in the county are investigated by the department, this is clearly an important public service.  What often escapes attention are the many other ways in which the ME serves the public.  While some ME employees are attending crime scenes and working with police and CSI personnel, there are many other activities taking place that also benefit the public.

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Tue May 15, 2012 9:56:55 AM
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