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Forensic Medical Evaluation Group

The Forensic Medical Evaluation Group aims to:

  1. Provide independent forensic medical evaluations that are consistent with international best practices.
  2. Increase accountability to perpetrators through documentation.
  3. Further prevent future ill-treatment, therefore improve the public health.

Our Story

The act of torture is a critical public health issue in the international community.  Torture perpetrators' goal is to ultimately send a message of fear to the larger community. Torture victims and their larger communities experience serous medical conditions, and trauma symptoms. Acts of torture perpetuate when a deep lack of accountability exists. The Boston University Forensic Medical Evaluation Group has built medical-legal collaborations to document the effects of torture which in turn can be used to seek justice for the client.

The Boston University Forensic Medical Evaluation Group (FMEG), founded by Dr. Sondra Crosby and Dr. Elizabeth Burke, is a service for asylum seekers requiring documentation of prior ill treatment.  Part of the Department of Medicine, the School of Public Health and GLP, FMEG offers evaluation and documentation of physical and psychological evidence of torture and abuse in a supportive, and collaborative environment while working closely with attorneys.

In addition to performing medical evaluations, FMEG is actively engaged in advancing the field of torture documentation through academic research including scholarly publications, holding regular didactic sessions on all aspects of medical forensics, and teaching students (medical, law, and public health), medical residents, physicians, lawyers, and judges.

Current Clinicians

Sondra Crosby, MD

Sondra Crosby has investigated torture around the world, and has served as an international expert in the field of torture documentation. She has written over 500 medical affidavits, and her testimony has been accepted in international courts, and domestically both in the Boston Immigration Court, Federal District Court, and the Military Commissions Court.

Pedro Fernandez, MD

Pedro Fernandez finished his psychiatry residency at Boston University School of Medicine and the Boston Center for Refugee Care and Human Rights, and has published on the challenges faced by Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) patients who are seeking asylum.  He has examined numerous torture survivors, and has provided psychological evaluations in the United States Federal immigration court since 2013.

Sarah Kimball, MD

Sarah Kimball initially trained in the care for asylum seekers and in writing medical affidavits as a medical student during a rotation at the Program for Survivors of Torture at NYU.  Since then, she worked with clients as an asylum network volunteer through Physicians for Human Rights, and has been an invited lecturer nationally on the medical sequelae of torture. 

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