Original Publication
Open Access

The Refugee Health II Elective

Published: November 20, 2014 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9940

Included in this publication:

  • Instructor's Guide.docx
  • Refugee Health II Elective Worksheet.docx
  • Reading List.docx
  • Refugee Health II Quiz.docx
  • Retro Pre and Post Self Evaluation.docx
  • Evaluation of retro pre and post and quiz.docx
  • RIME Direct Observation Form Memo Refugee Health II.docx
  • RIME Direct Observation Form.doc

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: While refugee health conditions are often amenable to primary care intervention and community support, asylum seekers and refugees are less likely to utilize health care and social services than other immigrant groups. Resettlement challenges, language barriers, stigma, and lack of knowledge of the health care system are just a few of the barriers to healthcare that refugees face. This clinical elective is geared toward fourth-year medical students interested in working with underserved populations and patients whose health is greatly affected by their unique cultures, personal histories, social circumstances, and legal circumstances. Methods: At our home institution, this resource follows the Refugee Health Elective, which can also be found on MedEdPORTAL. This Refugee Health II Elective is designed to meet the curricular requirements of the ACGME with alignment between broad goals, specific learning objectives, educational activities, and evaluation. As learners experience this resource, they complete required reading assignments, community experiences at a refugee clinic where they are observed by a clinician, home visits, and a reflection paper. Results: The Refugee Health II Elective has been well received at our home institution. Students have stated that: ”The rotation and the opportunity to work with one of the most underprivileged populations in the Denver area very invaluable and fulfilling,” and “I can't tell you how valuable it is to see the refugees outside of clinic and start to get a better sense of all of their challenges.” Discussion: Successful students have learned how to effectively use a translator, how to culturally negotiate clinical encounters, and how to incorporate the patient’s unique life circumstance into their clinical encounters. They will be able to use these skills as they move forward in their medical careers.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this module, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe panel physicians and the goal of overseas examination.
  2. Describe Class A and Class B medical conditions.
  3. Describe the role of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.
  4. Determine the timing of medical screening.
  5. List the screening tests for refugees that are recommended by the CDC.
  6. Describe a refugee’s insurance health care coverage.
  7. Compare and contrast the arrival screening processes for refugees and other immigrants.
  8. Describe how learners should physically position themselves while interacting with the patient.
  9. Provide examples of ways that one should and should not communicate to avoid confusion during translation.
  10. Understand the International Medical Interpreters Association code of ethics.
  11. Identify an existing public health aid (other than the home navigator) that is facilitating the health of the refugee.
  12. Describe one key health care need of the refugee family from their perspective.
  13. Research and recommend a resource that might help their patient.
  14. Demonstrate that they can complete an intake on a newly arrived refugee in a culturally effective manner.
  15. Reflect on how their own culture has challenged their ability to care for a newly arrived refugee in a culturally effective manner.

Author Information

  • Daniel Nicklas, MD: Children's Hospital Colorado
  • Chelsea Wong: University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Jamaluddin Moloo: University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Paritosh Kaul: University of Colorado School of Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


Nicklas D, Wong C, Moloo J, Kaul P. The refugee health II elective. MedEdPORTAL. 2014;10:9940. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9940