Dr. Atkinson has a broad background in human rights and is particularly interested in how human rights violations impact the health outcomes of women and girls. She served on the board of directors of PHR for more than 16 years, including four years as president. She now serves as an expert medical advisor to the organization and is a member of its asylum network. Dr. Atkinson is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Dr. Atkinson is program director for human rights at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai, where she directs the Human Rights Clinic, where asylum seekers who have suffered torture, trafficking, and other egregious human rights violations are medically and psychologically evaluated. She is also co-director of the Advancing Idealism in Medicine Program and assistant professor of preventative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine.