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Oklahoma ME's office has doubled number of pathologists, chief says

The agency is seeking funding that would pay for three additional doctors, which would give the medical examiner's office 14 doctors, up from five a year ago.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: January 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm •  Published: January 25, 2013
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A cooler broke down in the building last year, resulting in corpses having to be stored in refrigeration trucks.

Efforts to get a new office built have bogged down in the Legislature.

“We will not achieve accreditation in our building,” Pfeifer said. “We had the president of NAME visit us last year. She looked around and goes, ‘Not this place.'”

Pfeifer said he is thrilled that the agency has been able to attract doctors after several years of flux. Chief medical examiners came and went, the agency was at the center of a bribery investigation involving former legislators and a former chief investigator was charged and subsequently cleared of sexual misconduct charges.

He said he was surprised he was able to get pathologists to work for the medical examiner's office.

“Our first strategy was to look for doctors that had an Oklahoma connection via family so we kind of pursued those,” Pfeifer said. “To our surprise and delight, they agreed to join us. And we snagged a few out of Texas.”