HomeNYC chief medical examiner resigns

NYC chief medical examiner resigns

Dr. Barbara Sampson is the first woman to fill this role in New York City.

Dr. Barbara Sampson, the first woman to head the New York City office of the Chief Medical Examiner in its 100-year history, announced her departure Monday to work in the private sector.

Sampson has worked with the agency for 23 years, nine as chief, and led it through the grueling start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were so overwhelmed by the number of deaths here in the city that we needed every OCME employee to be part of our COVID response,” Sampson recalled in an interview with ABC News.

Before the pandemic, Sampson oversaw the autopsies of Eric Garner, Joan Rivers and Jeffrey Epstein, each aroused a degree of public controversy

She said of her guiding philosophy: “Keep up the truth and what science and medicine are based on, you can’t go astray too far.”

Sampson has advocated new technology for DNA analysis and opioid discovery so that autopsies can more quickly inform public health officials and law enforcement about drugs on the street.

She has maintained the office’s commitment, which began under her predecessor Dr. Charles Hirsch, to continue examining human remains recovered from the September 11 attacks. There were new identities on the 20th anniversary.

Sampson told ABC News she didn’t give much thought at the time of her appointment to being the city’s first female chief medical examiner, but did think about it now that she’s leaving her position for a position at Mount Sinai Health System.

“I’ve obviously been a role model for many women interested in careers in medicine in science and government. I’ve found looking back now very rewarding,” Sampson said.