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Chapter 9 Health Considerations For Newly Arrived Immigrants & Refugees

Introduction

Christine K. Olson, Mary P. Naughton, Luis S. Ortega

According to the Department of Homeland Security, approximately 73,000 refugees were admitted into the United States during fiscal year (FY) 2010 (October 1, 2009, through September 30, 2010). In addition, >1 million immigrants obtained legal permanent resident status during FY 2010; 566,000 of these were already living in the United States and 476,000 came directly from overseas. Map 9-01 shows countries of origin for refugee and new immigrant arrivals in FY 2010.

A medical examination is mandatory for refugees and applicants for US immigration. Refugees undergo the examination overseas, whereas immigrants are examined in the United States or overseas, depending on their place of residence. CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) provides panel physicians and civil surgeons with technical instructions for conducting the medical examinations. A panel physician is an experienced medical doctor practicing overseas who has an agreement with a local US embassy or consulate general to perform overseas examinations. A civil surgeon is a US physician who is designated to perform immigrant medical examinations. DGMQ works closely with the Department of State, which has agreements with panel physicians, and US Citizenship and Immigration Services within the Department of Homeland Security, which approves physicians to serve as civil surgeons.

Map 9-01. US refugee and new immigrant arrivals by country of origin, fiscal year 20101

Map 9-1. US refugee and new immigrant arrivals by country of origin, fiscal year 2010

View Larger Map  PDF Version (printable)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. CDC. Technical instructions for civil surgeons. Atlanta: CDC; 2010 [cited 2012 Sep 26]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/immigrantrefugeehealth/exams/ti/civil/technical-instructions-civil-surgeons.html.
  2. CDC. Technical instructions for panel physicians. Atlanta: CDC; 2012 [cited 2012 Sep 26]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/immigrantrefugeehealth/exams/ti/panel/technical-instructions-panel-physicians.html.
  3. US Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics. Yearbook of Immigrant Statistics: 2010. Washington, DC: US Department of Homeland Security; 2011 [cited 2012 Sep 26]. Available from: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/yearbook/2010/ois_yb_2010.pdf.
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