Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: L1011 / Deputy Medical Investigator
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Non-Exempt
Grade: 10
HR Review/Approval:RVIEW

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Investigates and/or coordinates the investigation of deaths reported to the Office of the Medical Investigator. Responds to death scenes, primarily in Bernalillo county, on behalf of the Chief Medical Investigator and conducts investigations to aid in the determination of the cause and manner of death. Coordinates field data collection, performs data entry and generates reports. Participates in the training of new field investigators. Interacts with families of deceased individuals. May be required to work on-call shifts.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Takes reports of death from OMI field investigators around the state and provides guidance and assistance with their cases.
  2. Travels to and conducts on-scene investigations as required; takes photos, interviews families, law enforcement, and witnesses; fingerprints bodies, conducts preliminary body examination at the scene and processes evidence.
  3. Gathers and enters data generated during investigations and prepares reports, including both verbal and written presentations.
  4. Performs external examinations on decedents, including documentation of injuries, scars, marks, tattoos, and post mortem artifacts and collection of body fluids for toxicology testing.
  5. Reviews field reports, cremation requests and medical records and follows up on any unanswered questions.
  6. Meets with families of deceased to explain death and to assist with the initial grieving process.
  7. Prepares and delivers lectures to new field deputy medical investigators and assists in training and education of professional groups.
  8. Practices safety, environmental, and/or infection control methods.
  9. May lead, guide, and train staff/student employees, interns, and/or volunteers performing related work; may participate in the recruitment of volunteers, as appropriate to the area of operation.
  10. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Associate's degree in a related field; at least 1 year of experience directly related the to duties and responsibilities specified.
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution and/or experience that is directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified may be interchangeable on a year-for-year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and/or kinesiology.
  • Skill in the use of personal computers and related software applications.
  • Ability to investigate and analyze information and draw conclusions.
  • Ability to maintain emotional stability to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses.
  • Ability to communicate technical information to non-technical personnel.
  • Ability to write reports containing technical information.
  • Ability to functionally lead, train and motivate staff and student employees, to include organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work.
  • Ability to maintain quality, safety, and/or infection control standards.
  • Ability to provide technical guidance and training to end users.
  • Knowledge of bereavement counseling techniques.
  • Ability to understand, analyze and interpret medical/forensic information and terminology.
  • Knowledge of death investigation procedures and standards and of legal/policy requirements for the processing of evidence.
  • Skill in fingerprinting cadavers and identifying trauma wounds.
  • Knowledge of cameras and photographic procedures.
  • Ability to lift and manipulate heavy objects.
  • Ability to provide legal depositions and testimony.
  • Knowledge of related accreditation and certification requirements.
  • Ability to multitask and function effectively in a fast-paced environment.

Distinguishing Characteristics

    Position requires: a) performance of standard on-scene death investigations, following established protocol and procedures for gathering evidence and reporting; b) review, verification, follow up and consolidation of investigation reports from Field Deputy Medical Investigators; c) preparation of standard verbal and written presentations, including legal depositions and testimony; d) technical training, guidance, and instruction of new Field Deputy Medical Investigators; e) direct communication and interaction with families of deceased persons under stressful circumstances; f) urgent travel to remote in-state locations as required to attend death investigations.

Conditions of Employment

  • Possession of a valid New Mexico driver's license is a requirement for this job.
  • May be required to submit immunization records for review for required vaccines and TB testing.
  • UNM will provide Hepatitis vaccination, candidate may decline vaccination through declination form or may provide record of vaccination from previous employer.
  • Ability to secure and maintain a valid UNM Driver's License.
  • Successful candidate must submit to post-offer, pre-employment physical examination and medical history check.
  • Pre-employment background investigation required.
  • Must maintain certification status.
  • Must achieve Registry level certification with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigations (ABMDI) within one year of employment.
  • Employees who provide services or work in patient care or clinical areas are required to be in compliance with the University's influenza vaccination requirement.
  • All regular, non-temporary positions assigned to this classification are represented by a labor union and subject to the terms and conditions of the US-UNM Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • Requires heavy physical activity. Must be able to physically lift, roll and move bodies as necessary in preparation for transportation.
  • Work may be performed on scenes that are often in tight, cramped, burned, or difficult locations.
  • Work involves considerable exposure to unusual elements, such as extreme temperatures, dirt, dust, fumes, smoke, unpleasant odors, and/or loud noises.
  • Work environment involves exposure to potentially dangerous materials and situations that require following extensive safety precautions and may include the use of protective equipment.
  • Will work in a death environment with occasional noxious odors.
  • Will work with blood or blood-borne pathogens and will require OSHA training.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 05/01/2023