Sondra Crosby, MD

Sondra Crosby, MD is an associate professor of medicine and public health at the Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, in the Center of Health Law, Ethics, and Human Rights.  She is a nationally known expert in refugee health, and for the last 20 years, her clinical practice has focused on the care of refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom have experienced persecution and torture.  She is co-founder of the Immigrant and Refugee Health Program at Boston Medical Center.

Dr. Crosby has taught and mentored evaluation and documentation according to the Istanbul Protocol, the international standard for the evaluation and documentation of torture and ill-treatment, in Erbil, Iraq; Amman, Jordan; Almaty, Kazakhstan,;Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; Dushanbe, Tajikistan; Istanbul, Türkiye; and Reyhanli, Türkiye as a medical consultant for Physicians for Human Rights. She has lectured in the Asylum Officers Basic Training Course in Lansdowne, VA and in the Boston Asylum office on medical forensic findings in asylum cases.

Dr. Crosby is an internationally recognized expert in documentation of human rights violations, and on performing forensic medical evaluations utilizing the Istanbul Protocol (she has completed approximately 500).  She is co-founder of the Boston University Forensic Medical Evaluation Group, an innovative interdisciplinary model that provides medical forensic documentation of torture, ill-treatment and other physical abuse, including female genital mutilation. Dr. Crosby has evaluated the effects of torture on Syrian refugees living in Türkiye and Jordan, former detainees in U.S. detention at Guantánamo Bay, and at other sites in Iraq and Afghanistan. She also served as a medical forensic expert for the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, investigating allegations of torture.

Dr. Crosby has published scholarly papers on work in caring for survivors of torture in The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Annals of Internal Medicine, The British Medical Journal, The Journal of General Internal Medicine, The Laryngoscope, The British Journal of Ophthalmology, and Urology, among others.

Dr. Crosby has been qualified as an expert witness on the effects of cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment, and torture in United States Immigration Court in Boston, Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, the Military Commission Court in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (United States v. al-Nashiri) and the International Criminal Court.

Dr. Crosby is serving as a drafter on the Istanbul Protocol Supplement (IPS) Project, an international committee to update and write a supplement for the Istanbul Protocol. She has made significant contributions to the fields of trauma documentation of and providing care to refugees who have suffered human rights violations. She is the recipient of the 2008 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award and the 2016 Whitetulip Health Foundation Doctors’ Day Public Service Award in recognition of commitment to and outstanding work with refugees from around the world.  In addition, she was awarded the  2017 Community Clinician of the year for the Suffolk District Medical Society.

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