Global to Local: Serving asylum seekers at the UCSF Health & Human Rights Initiative


12:00 - 12:50pm PDT (UTC-7)

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The UCSF Health and Human Rights Initiative (HHRI) brings together multidisciplinary partners with decades-long expertise in health services for immigrants. HHRI’s work includes providing services, training and education, community partnership, research, and advocacy. Our first efforts included a medical student elective on asylum health, a monthly clinic offering pro bono medical and psychological forensic affidavits, and coordination of asylum evaluations across partner sites. 

In this talk, you will hear from Dr. Triveni DeFries as well as two medical students who have been involved in leading the asylum medicine elective at UCSF School of Medicine. After a brief introduction to the importance of forensic medical evaluations in asylum applications as well as the type of work being done at HHRI, there will be a live mock conduction of a forensic medical evaluation, focusin on a demonstration of how to ask open-ended questions, how to observe client’s demeanor, and how to be sensitive to the unique needs of clients in telling their stories. Finally, there will be an opportunity to debrief, ask questions, and learn about opportunities to get involved.

Speaker Bios:

  • Alice Lu and Nathan Coss are third and fourth year UCSF medical students who have each served as elective coordinator for the course Forensic Evaluation and Education of Asylum Seekers at UCSF School of Medicine. Together they have co-developed a live demo of a mock forensic medical evaluation that has been utilized as both a teaching tool in the medical student elective as well as a way to raise awareness and spark conversations at Global Health and Family Medicine conferences about forensic evaluations for asylum applications.
  • Triveni DeFries, MD, MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital in the UCSF Department of Medicine. She co-directs the UCSF Human Rights Clinic where she performs forensic medical evaluations for people seeking asylum in the United States and teaches learners and clinicians. She serves as the Director of Education & Training for the UCSF Human Rights Initiative. Her special interests are in immigrant health, human rights and addiction medicine.

Q&A moderated by Gizem Akildiz, current student in the Master of Science in Global Health Sciences program at UCSF.