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Dear Physicians,

Thank you for your interest in the HMS student chapter of Physicians for Human Rights. This email comprises a newsletter of current policies, recent articles, student activities, and future events that lie at the intersection of medicine and human rights. We plan on sending this newsletter out to you periodically, and hope it will be a useful resource for you. Please let us know how we can tailor this content to your needs.

HMS Physicians for Human Rights

Register for the Harvard-PHR Asylum Training here

We are pleased to announce that Harvard Medical School will be hosting an official PHR training on May 6th, 2017, aimed at providing physicians with an introductory skill set in asylum advocacy work. Registration is now live. Spots are limited, so please register soon.

Every year, tens of thousands of people from around the world seek to rebuild their lives in the United States. Many have suffered unimaginable physical and psychological torture in their countries of origin, and most lack the documentation required for an immigration application.

PHR relies on physicians and other medical professionals to help give asylum seekers a chance for a new life, free from fear. PHR’s training will feature presentations on the legal, medical, and psychiatric components of asylum-seeking, with a focus on how to carry out medical and psychiatric evaluations, and write a medical affidavit.

Dr. Katie Peeler, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, is an advisor of the HMS PHR chapter and has been leading the charge in setting up our asylum clinic. She wrote a perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine on her asylum work amid the current political climate. 

Sandhira Wijayaratne, a student within the chapter, wrote an op-ed on how the health care field must raise its voice to protect immigrant and undocumented patients from the new administration’s policies, particularly from the perspective of a medical student in training.
Medical students from Harvard and other schools participated in the No Ban-No Wall photo campaign, vocalizing personal reasons for supporting immigrants. Check out the Facebook page for more photos.


"Know Your Patients’ Rights – an update on immigrant access to healthcare coverage in Massachusetts”
Monday, March 27th
5:30-7:00 PM, Cambridge Health Alliance
This special session of the CHA Global Health and Human Rights seminar will take place on Monday March 27th  from 5:30-7pm in the Macht Auditorium, 2nd floor (to the left as you exit stairs), Macht Building (just beyond the parking garage), Cambridge Hospital, 1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139 

Refugees, Politics & the Global Health Physician
Wednesday, March 29th
9:30-10:30 AM, Massachusetts General Hospital, Ether Dome,
Bulfinch Building, 4th Floor

Mass General Global Health Seminar Series. Dr. Emmanuel D’Harcourt, Public Health Pediatrician & Former Senior Health Director, International Rescue Committee, will speak about the various dimensions of his career. More information here

PHR Asylum Training
Saturday, May 6th
8:30 AM-2:00 PM, Tosteson Medical Education Center, Harvard Medical School Training for clinicians and medical students interested in supporting asylum seekers through documentation of medical affidavits aiding their asylum cases. Spots are limited, register now here.

Muslim Travel Ban 2.0

Here's a summary of the latest news on the most recent executive order concerning immigration, issued on March 6, 2017. This travel ban has since been blocked by two federal judges, and is not in effect. This new ban had excluded Iraq from its list of Muslim-majority countries from the original ban in late January, but still barred new immigrants and travelers without visas from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It is expected that the Trump administration will challenge this most recent block by federal courts.

Relevant Articles

Chilling Effect? Post-Election Health Care Use by Undocumented and Mixed-Status Families

Why I’ve Learned to Leave Blank Spots in Some Patients’ Medical Records


The Reason Immigrants Are Now Afraid to Enroll in Health Care Plans


Green Beer and Rank Hypocrisy

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