AMWA's Physicians Against Trafficking of Humans
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PATH's webpage features an introduction to human trafficking and healthcare, click here to watch informative videos and learn more from the site.

Interested in learning more about PATH leadership and involvement? Here are some ideas of how to get started with our welcome packet.
Happy National Women's History Month!

AMWA Annual Conference 

To celebrate AMWA's 103rd Conference this March 22-25th in Philadelphia, PA, PATH is sharing a two part series for March to highlight all that our members have accomplished this year and foster new connections during and after the conference. 

If you are attending the conference, click here to let us know and connect with AMWA PATH!

Part I:
  • Interview with Dr. Ressinger
  • SUSTAIN Honolulu
  • AMWA-PATH Spotlight
Part II:
  • Human Trafficking and Addiction
  • Student Spotlight: SUSTAIN presentations
If you or someone you know has PATH updates to share, (e.g. success after SUSTAIN Training) e-mail Michelle Lyman to be included in future newsletters.

Coming to a City Near You
After a very successful first year, the SUSTAIN series is expanding to several cities around the United States. See below for dates and locations for 2018.

    Philadelphia, PA: Mar 25, 2018
    Houston, TX: May 26, 2018

Now SUSTAIN events will have an additional option to earn free continuing medical education (CME) credits by participating in the events. To register for the Philadelphia event, click here.

If you are interested in attending any of these SUSTAIN events please e-mail Michelle Lyman at for more information on registration and travel scholarships.

About the Newsletter
This is a monthly series in research and advocacy news summaries created by the PATH residents and medical students. Newsletters will feature brief breakdowns on recent scholarly publications and policy changes as well as highlighting PATH member efforts and upcoming events.


We want to share your success!
E-mail your projects and events to the editors to be featured in upcoming newsletters


Stay Informed
In Human Trafficking, Mental Illness, and Addiction: Avoiding Diagnostic Overshadowing, authors Dr. Hanni Stoklosa,, precisely explain what we, as students and physicians, should be mindful of when taking care of sex trafficking survivors. The authors intentionally use the term “survivor” instead of “victim” when referring to trafficked patients as a way to highlight their strength and perseverance through times of severe abuse and hardship.
The publication focuses on the role of the physician and the importance of having a proactive protocol when a survivor presents him/herself in the clinical area. The protocol should equip all of the clinical staff, including receptionists and security, with proper knowledge and procedures.

The article also includes a comprehensive chart (See Table 1) on how to care for a trafficked patient with regard to their well-being. It is important that we consciously abstain from overshadowing, an unintentional yet problematic bias, when factors such as mental illness of the patient are prevalent. Here is a link to the publication, which further elaborates on how we can improve care for survivors:


Student Spotlight

Raye Ng and Sam Cook (pictured above) attended SUSTAIN Training earlier this year. Both are medical students at Florida State University College of Medicine. The audience consisted of about 20 MS3’s and several faculty in the field of family medicine, pediatrics, and ophthalmology.

SUSTAIN Reflections: Amanda Orley

"As a first-year medical student, I am not confident in asking the right questions to rule out certain diagnoses. I feel like my ability to conduct a thorough interview is contingent on my ability to diagnose disease and therefore, as a first-year, my interviews are definitively inadequate. However, at the SUSTAIN training we explored important questions to ask that might reveal evidence of being trafficked.

The nuance in the question-asking required to elucidate a case of sex trafficking is reliant on intuition, trust, and time. We reviewed various studies outlining barriers to identification and care of trafficked victims -- lack of training, awareness, and time topped many of the lists. When I interview patients at my weekly clinical off-site, my lack of diagnostic skills actually frees up time to dig deeper into the patient’s social and sexual history. I have the luxury of time to build up trust, to ask about things like tattoos, and to have a conversation led by my intuition. I’m starting to think of my inexperience as an advantage, allowing me to connect deeper with patients on a personal level to better understand the sociocultural factors – including screening for sex trafficking -- that contribute to their health and wellbeing. History being 90% of the diagnosis starts to make a little more sense. 

 As informed medical students, we can use our time interviewing patients to ask some of the nuanced questions that often go unasked. Not screening for sex trafficking in our hospitals is doing a disservice to our community here in the Bronx. It is easy to fall into the mind-trap that us medical students are purely passively learning until given all the tools to care for patients, but the SUSTAIN training revealed how we can be huge assets in acknowledging risk factors and identifying victims of trafficking."

 Amanda Orley is a medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a past participant with SUSTAIN.

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Copyright © American Medical Women's Association: Physicians Against Trafficking of Human, All rights reserved.

Newsletter Editors:
Alexandra (Sasha) Shumyatsky and Michelle Lyman

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