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OCME: Life in America’s Top Forensic Medical Center, New Book by Bruce Goldfarb

March 22, 2023

Bruce Goldfarb is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, USA Today, Baltimore magazine, American Archaeology, American Health, and many other publications. For ten years, Bruce has served as executive assistant to the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland and the public information office for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). Bruce’s newest book, OCME: Life in America’s Top Forensic Medical Center published February 2023.

Host Mike Sacopulos discusses the new OCME book with Goldfarb, a behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the largest and busiest forensic medical centers in the United States. Once celebrated as the gold standard of death investigation, the OCME of Maryland was hammered between an epidemic of violence and opioid deaths and strangling budgetary restraints imposed by indifferent state officials, ultimately plunging the institution into crisis. The author highlights the dedicated professionals who work against increasingly daunting odds.

In the U.S., forensic death investigation is in a precarious state.  The shortage of forensic pathologists, shrinking government support, a decade-long opioid epidemic causing a rising tide of drug related deaths, delays in autopsies leading to delayed burial and survivor benefits being paid, delays in criminal investigations and civil litigations, all contribute to a system failing to provide essential public health services in many parts of the country.

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