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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. These applicants have experienced unlawful detention, torture, harassment, domestic violence, female genital mutilation and homophobic hate crimes, in countries such as Syria, Pakistan, Honduras, Ecuador, Sierra Leone, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Center’s trained physicians perform a forensic medical interview and examination to document physical scars and functional impairments. These objective findings are presented to immigration authorities and judiciary members in the form of an affidavit and/or testimony.

Education - Asylum

Medical students, residents and fellows at Yale participate in medical evaluations of asylum applicants with one of the Center’s faculty at the medical school or at a detention facility. Trainees can complete formal training with one of our advocacy partners at Physicians for Human Rights or HealthRight International which enables them to perform these evaluations independently when they become licensed. Residents, fellows and students at the Medical School and the School of Public Health learn about asylum medicine and local global health through lectures, workshops and poster sessions on campus and at regional and national meetings. The Center collaborates with law students at Yale Law School and the University of Connecticut School of Law, who refer asylum applicants to us. The Yale Center for Asylum Medicine has hosted national meetings which teach physicians from the US and Canada about forensic evaluations.