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The University of Miami Human Rights Clinic: A Model

In 2009, students, residents, and attendings at the University of Miami began working with PHR to plan a Human Rights Clinic.  The intention was to enable asylum-seeking persons/victims of torture and abuse to obtain medial affidavits that document potential physical/psychological human rights violations on a consistent basis. The team drew on an existing academic model in operation at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York.  The clinic provides a valuable service to the South Florida community while simultaneously providing education to medical students, residents, and fellows in this subject.

On Friday, October 29, 2010, the Human Rights Clinic of Miami [2] is officially opened its doors.  Natascha Chida [1], a PGY-2, said, “Clients will mainly be persons who experienced torture/persecution and are seeking asylum in the United States. We will perform a history and physical that will result in a medical affidavit that the client’s legal representatives can use when advocating for asylum status. Our community partners will refer clients to us; these include Physicians for Human Rights, Catholic Charities, FIAC, and other local organizations.   We will not be providing direct medical care, but clients may follow up at the San Juan Bosco Clinic for services.  At this time PHR students (as the clinic is a project of PHR at UMMSM) and J Weiss residents will be volunteering with our clinic faculty, but as we grow we hope offer the experience to other residents and students.”

Here is an example of UMHRC’S structure [3] (PDF).

Here is an example of UMHRC’S algorithm [4] (PDF).

Here is an example of UMHRC’S Intake Form [5] (PDF).

Here is an example of UMHRC’S Initial Proposal [6] (PDF).