This article highlights the importance of psychological and medical evaluations for asylum seekers in the United States, and identifies physicians and other healthcare professionals as uniquely situated for this work. This paper outlines the benefits and drawbacks to such evaluations and addresses their utility in immigration law, ultimately calling for increased clinician involvement in pro bono evaluations.
In recent years, the unique role of medical professionals in the asylum adjudication process has been thrown into sharp relief as asylum applications surge, with over one million pending cases backlogged in the U.S. asylum system as of August 2019. Medical evaluations dramatically increase the likelihood of an individual obtaining asylum. The author examines the role medical trainees play in this process.