Physicians for Human Rights Elective

An opportunity from the Residents and Fellows for Global Health Equity. Applications are due November 30, 2022.

Please see the following information from Residents and Fellows for Global Health Equity regarding the Physicians for Human Rights Rotation:


Physicians for Human Rights Rotation for Residents and Fellows of Michigan Medicine Application Instructions

Sponsor organizations: Physicians for Human Rights (PHR); Global REACH, University of Michigan Asylum Collaborative (UMAC); Residents and Fellows for Global Health Equity

Faculty sponsors: Michele Heisler (PHR/UM Internal Medicine)

Background: Physicians for Human Rights (PHR, is a U.S.-based organization dedicated to marshalling clinical and public health research and evidence to document the health effects of human rights violations and advocate for policy and legal changes to promote health and human rights. PHR was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for their work to ban land mines, after years of meticulous documentation and advocacy. Current work is broad ranging and includes human rights violations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, immigration and asylum seeking, torture, police violence and misuse of crowd control weapons, mass atrocities and other humanitarian crises, attacks on health care and health care workers, and sexual and gender-based violence in the United States and across the globe.

PHR is hosting a two to four-week rotation for residents and fellows whose curricula offer sufficient elective time. The rotation is hosted by Michele Heisler, MD, MPH, PHR Medical Director and University of Michigan faculty member.

Eligible Residents and Fellows: The rotation is offered to full-time Michigan Medicine residents and fellows. Given that the elective is also offered to medical students, applications for house staff are expected to be competitive.

Application: Interested residents and fellows should submit an application consisting of:

  1. Personal statement of 500 words or less highlighting:
    1. Reason for interest in the PHR mini-internship
    2. Research and/or advocacy experience with emphasis on writing and/or research skills.
    3. Reason for particular interest in up to three content areas where PHR works based on a review of their website
  2. Curriculum Vitae

The work: Residents and fellows will work with Dr. Heisler on research and/or advocacy projects at PHR. Projects will be individually tailored to students’ experience and career interests. Work will largely be carried out virtually with some in-person communication with Dr. Heisler in Ann Arbor and/or New York. Examples of project tasks include literature reviews, summaries of evidence for issue briefs, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and writing advocacy statements and perspective pieces. Learners will also learn first-hand about the wide range of activities and people at PHR and other organizations working on global health and human rights issues.

Timeline: Please submit applications to Michele Heisler (both AND by November 30, 2022.

Acceptance and notification: Review criteria will include demonstrated experience in research, writing, or advocacy work; and potential linkages with future career aspirations. Applicants will be notified of acceptance decisions by Michele Heisler directly.

Further information: For further information or questions please contact Michele Heisler ( or Joseph Ladines-Lim ( or Michael Dykstra (