Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 763–765 | Cite as

The Individual and Organizational Role of Physicians in Mitigating the Biological, Psychological and Social Health Consequences of Displacement

  • Timothy S. H. KwokEmail author
  • David S. Sands
Letter to the Editor


The number of Internally Displaced People is growing globally with a significant number travelling to countries such as Canada. These individuals have unique health care needs that are significantly impacted by several social determinants of health, which provides a challenge to the physician as they must address the biological, psychological and social factors in order to effectively improve the health of this population. The physician must work at the individual, national, and international levels and collaborate with other health care workers in order to effectively address these complex health care issues. Some recent strategies that show promise in targeting these complex care issues include knowledge sharing among medical professionals, specialized treatment approaches including treatment through telemedicine as well as political advocacy. The application of strategies such as these, along with increased awareness and commitment from physicians, will work to improve health care and prevent negative health outcomes in this growing population.


Displacement Social unrest Political unrest Determinants of heath 



This manuscript was not funded.

Authors’ Contributions

TK and DS both contributed to the preparation and final review of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Neither author declares any conflict of interests.

Ethical Approval

As this is a letter to the editor manuscript, review by and approval from the appropriate institutional and/or national ethical review committee was not required.

Research Involving Human Participants

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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