Human Rights Clinic of Miami


The Human Rights Clinic of Miami (HRC) is an independent collection of medical students, residents, and attending physicians who dedicate their time and ability to provide impartial physical and psychiatric evaluations for asylum seekers and refugees in the United States.

We volunteer our services as clinical evaluators of human rights abuse to provide an objective evidence base for the courts. We conduct research to advance the academy’s understanding of how to best help our marginalized patient population. We connect patients to specialized care that serves their unique needs.

2023 In review


Evaluations complete

Virtual Evaluations


Research Posters & Presentations


Medical Evaluations

Our clinic provides medical evaluations for asylum seekers referred to us by our legal partners. The main goal of these medical evaluations is to provide picture of an individual’s overall health and document instances of human rights abuse. Evidence collected during these evaluations is translated to an affidavit, a medical-legal document that can be used in the courts to support their claim for asylum.

Please note that it may take up to 3-4 months for us to schedule each client for a medical evaluation. Scheduling order is based on urgency as determined by hearing date. We appreciate your patience! For any questions, please contact Caitlin Dowell-Esquivel:

Training Future Human Rights Physicians

In addition to serving our population, our clinic seeks to train medical professionals – including medical students, residents, and physicians – to become leaders in the human rights field. By continuously training professionals in evaluating asylum seekers, we hope to create a sustainable model for training a workforce to meet the needs of our unique population.

Care Referrals

In order to maintain our role as impartial witnesses of human rights abuse in the courts, we do not provide direct medical or psychological care to our clients. Our services are restricted to an interview and physical/psychological exam that will result in a medical affidavit for the client that he/she may use as part of his/her case. However, we are currently in the process of developing a process for referring our clients to local clinics and free resources to meet their health needs.


In addition to our mission to serve our population, we are actively engaged in research to continuously improve the services that we provide. We are always looking to work with interested partners on improving knowledge on the health and needs of our population.

Student Leadership


Co-Programs Director

Shah, Nikita
Nikita Shah

Co-Evaluations Director

Jacklyn Samaha

Pediatrics Program Manager

Kim, Iris
Iris Kim

Quality Improvement & Database Manager

Chen, Jessie
Jessie Chen

Client Navigator

Rahman, Tanha
Tanha Rahman

Client Navigator


Co-Programs Director

Rodriguez, Isabel
Isabel Rodriguez

Scheduling Director

Subramaniam, Ashwin
Ashwin Subramaniam

Follow-up Manager

Mar, Jessica
Jessica Mar

Physician Recruiter

Gretel Paez

Client Navigator

Chang, Jonathan
Jonathan CHANG

Client Navigator/Client Navigation Database Manager

Hashmound Julia
Julia Houshmand

Co-Evaluations Director

Pacheco, Andrea
Andrea R Pacheco

Interpretation Director

Saahit Adabala

IT Manager

Nora Siegler

Client Navigation Manager

Tommy Diehl

Client Navigator

Vyas, Jennie
Jennie Vyas

Client Navigation Database Manager


Stephen Symes, MD
Medical director

Dr. Symes is an Associate Professor of Medicine – Division of Infectious Diseases with the University of Miami Miller School Of Medicine. Dr. Symes completed his medical education at Howard University in 1989 and residency training in Internal Medicine at Jackson Memorial Medical Center in 1992. He joined the faculty with the Department of Medicine in 1994, served as Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine residency program in 1997, and was promoted to Program Director in June 2006.

Dr. Symes has received Torture Asylum training through Physicians for Human Rights network, and conducted workshops for other healthcare professionals on this topic. Through his work as HRC's Medical Director, he has seen close to 500 clients free of charge. He also serves as a primary Care provider for THRIVE clinic, which provides integrated care for victims of human trafficking, referred from the Department of Homeland security and Dade County Attorney’s office.

Anjali Saxena, MD
Residency Director

Dr. Anjali Saxena is an Internal Medicine and Pediatric specialist. She graduated with honors from University Of Arkansas College Of Medicine in 2014 and completed residency training at UM-JMH Internal Medicine/Pediatrics in 2018.



The Human Rights Clinic of Miami is looking for physicians and interpreters to assist during our evaluations.

If you are interested in helping interpret, please contact our Interpretation Director, Andrea P Pacheco, at

If you are a physician interested in volunteering, please contact our Physician Recruiter, Jessica Mar, at