BIOL 6653: Refugee Health and Advocacy

Student Leaders: 
Bryan Rego, MD20; Stephanie Maldonado, MD20
Faculty Adviser: 
Carol Lewis, MD

The purpose of this course is to introduce principle themes of refugee health.   The first part of the course addresses the health concerns of internally displaced people and those settled in “temporary” camps.  Sessions will then explore the process of refugee resettlement in the US, with focused attention on the legal, educational, and financial logistics of the eight-month resettlement phase.  We will then move on to explore health care in the context of US resettlement, starting with the immediate refugee health assessment and then delving into the persistent challenges of barriers to access, chronic medical issues (including diseases of mental health), and language gaps.  The material is covered in classroom sessions, most of which will host a guest speaker, and is bolstered by community-based learning experiences.  Students are required to staff 1 intake shift for the pediatric refugee clinic and write a final paper.  By the end of the course, students will appreciate the health concerns, options for care, and current challenges characteristic of each phase of resettlement.