Asylum Seekers in a Time of Record Forced Global Displacement: The Role of Physicians

Journal of General Internal Medicine, Vol. 34, No.1 (January 2019), pp. 137-143

Posted: 23 Jul 2018 Last revised: 10 Jan 2019

See all articles by Katherine C. McKenzie, M.D.

Katherine C. McKenzie, M.D.

Yale School of Medicine

Jon Bauer

University of Connecticut - School of Law

P. Preston Reynolds, M.D., Ph.D.

University of Virginia School of Medicine

Date Written: June 15, 2018

Abstract

In 2016, over 65 million individuals were displaced from their homes due to human rights abuses, and 262,000 people applied for asylum in the USA. Individuals who have experienced persecution are present in many primary and specialty clinics. A medical forensic evaluation can increase the likelihood of a successful asylum case. This paper reviews the legal framework for asylum and the contribution forensic evaluations can make to this vulnerable population. Physicians without asylum expertise can help these patients by recognizing their legal right to residential protection and referring them to lawyers and physicians with expert skills. Performing forensic examinations of asylum-seekers offers physicians the opportunity to collaborate with attorneys, immigration officials, and human rights experts. Clinicians who do this work find it personally and professionally rewarding, especially when they impart their expert knowledge and skills to future clinicians by involving trainees in these evaluations. Physicians who encounter refugees or asylum seekers in their roles as providers or as preceptors should have familiarity with the field of asylum medicine to enhance the comprehensive care they deliver.

Keywords: asylum, refugees, immigration, medical evaluations, physicians, global health

Suggested Citation

McKenzie, Katherine and Bauer, Jon and Reynolds, P. Preston, Asylum Seekers in a Time of Record Forced Global Displacement: The Role of Physicians (June 15, 2018). Journal of General Internal Medicine, Vol. 34, No.1 (January 2019), pp. 137-143, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3203641

Katherine McKenzie (Contact Author)

Yale School of Medicine ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States
2036882984 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://medicine.yale.edu/intmed/people/katherine_mckenzie.profile

Jon Bauer

University of Connecticut - School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States
860-570-5205 (Phone)

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