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Refugee status entitles refugees to legal employment, access to social services, and a brief period of specialized case management. However, because of the consistently high burden of disease in this diverse population, a large number of refugees are, for medical reasons, unable to meet the language and civics requirements for citizenship. An N-648 Medical Certification for Disability form, completed by a physician, can exempt a qualified refugee from these requirements, but lack of access to physicians willing to complete the form is a significant barrier in North Carolina. In Greensboro alone there is a backlog of roughly 150 cases. Many refugees are effectively barred from applying for citizenship and suffer social, economic, and health consequences as a result. The N-648 clinic, organized by the UNC Physicians for Human Rights Chapter and Dr. Jeff Walden at Cone Family Medicine, seeks to address the backlog of refugees in the Triad and Triangle areas in North Carolina through a mobile medical-legal clinic that will recruit and train medical students to evaluate the refugees, document and present to physicians, and work with the physicians to complete the N648 form. (Information provided by Nicole Damari)

For additional information or interest in getting involved as a student, contact the SOM Student group “Physicians for Human Rights” co-leaders, and

2016 PHR photo