Asylum Medicine

With tremendous gratitude to the asylum seekers I have met over the years – I have been humbled by their stories. They have taught me incredible lessons about adversity and what it takes to overcome our collective human history of violence. And they have deepened my sense of justice, patriotism, and compassion through their own - Hope Ferdowsian MD

Asylum Medicine
Asylum Medicine

image by: Human Rights Watch

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Why I Became a Doctor Who Treats Torture Victims

I first met Charles when I documented his scars. He planned to use my medical report as evidence in immigration court where he was applying for asylum based on the persecution he had endured for his political opinions. Charles’ interrogators had wanted him to stop protesting against the government. So they’d detained him after a peaceful rally and tortured him for two weeks. His captors kept him in a filthy, crowded, insect-infested cell. When they took him out of it to be questioned, they threatened his life and his family. They then beat, cut and burned him. Others captured protestors were not released. They were killed.

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 Why I Became a Doctor Who Treats Torture Victims

In my work, I have seen what it means for the United States to welcome refugees. Torture is not an abstract concept to me. In the last 10 years, I’ve been told more than 100 stories of this intentional infliction of pain. We’ve heard for nine months about America First, but non-English-speaking refugees who came to America with nothing but a hope for security is the first America.

Society of Asylum Medicine

Asylum medicine is a field comprised of clinicians who conduct medical and mental health forensic evaluations of asylum seekers, and the educational, advocacy, and scholarly work that they perform. The Society of Asylum Medicine provides resources and promotes community and interaction among professionals involved in asylum medicine.

Center for Gender & Refugee Studies

The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies defends the human rights of courageous refugees seeking asylum in the United States. With strategic focus and unparalleled legal expertise, CGRS champions the most challenging cases, fights for due process, and promotes policies that deliver safety and justice for refugees.

National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs

The NCTTP exists to advance the knowledge, technical capacities and resources devoted to the care of torture survivors living in the United States and acts collectively to prevent torture worldwide.

PHR’s Asylum Network

PHR’s Asylum Network comprises more than 2,000 members nationwide who volunteer their time to provide pro bono forensic medical and psychological evaluations that can corroborate an asylum seeker’s claim of having suffered violence and persecution.

Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers

The Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers works to improve how North America approaches refugee, asylee and immigrant health and reduce health disparities through: educating health providers, connecting professionals for integrated refugee and immigrant health initiatives, and advocating change at individual, institutional, and governmental levels.

Yale Center for Asylum Medicine

Since 2003, asylum seekers requiring a medical evaluation have been referred to the Yale Center for Asylum Medicine by attorneys from Yale Law School and the University of Connecticut Law School as well as the advocacy groups Physicians for Human Rights, HealthRight International, the American Friends Service Committee and the International Institute of Connecticut.

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