Altaf Saadi, MD MSc, is a general neurologist and health services researcher, whose interests focus on neurologic health disparities and social and structural determinants of health among racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants, and refugees. She is committed to action-oriented, community-engaged, and policy-relevant research that will improve health outcomes for marginalized populations. Her current research seeks to assess the neurological burden of disease among refugees and asylum seekers; understand the trauma-brain health link among refugees, asylum seekers, survivors of intimate partner violence, and older adults; and explore the application of telemedicine-distributed interventions as a means to overcome structural barriers. Dr. Saadi has particular interests in mixed methods research, implementation science, telehealth, and community engagement.
She completed her neurology training at the Partners Neurology Program at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals in Boston, where she also served as chief resident. As a post-doctoral fellow at the National Clinician Scholars Program at the University of California Los Angeles, Dr. Saadi’s work focused on understanding how health care facilities can ensure that all patients feel safe when accessing health care regardless of their immigration status (see www.doctorsforimmigrants.com). Dr. Saadi is also an asylum evaluator for the Physicians for Human Rights Asylum Network, having conducted evaluations for individuals in the community and in immigration detention centers. She has also assessed the medical conditions in immigration detention centers in Texas and California, including with Human Rights First and Disability Rights California. She serves on the leadership board of the MGH Asylum Clinic.
Her academic work and viewpoints have been published in JAMA, the British Medical Journal, Neurology, among others, and her personal writing in the Los Angeles Times, STAT News, the Huffington Post, and Boston NPR’s CommonHealth Blog. Her work has also received media coverage in the Christian Science Monitor, Salon, and Reuters, among others.
Dr. Saadi is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Medical School, where she graduated cum laude and received the Dean’s Community Service Award. She has also received an MSc in Health Policy and Management from UCLA.