Altaf Saadi is a general academic neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and instructor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. She is also associate director of the MGH Asylum Clinic. Her research is focused on health disparities and social and structural determinants of health among racial/ethnic minorities, immigrants, and refugees.
Saadi completed her neurology training at the Partners Neurology Program at MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where she also served as chief resident. During her residency, Saadi’s interest in health equity led her to work in resource-limited settings in the Navajo Nation, Tanzania, Zambia, with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, and with the Doctors Without Borders telemedicine program.
Her research training includes a fellowship with the National Clinician Scholars Program at UCLA, where she conducted several health services research projects and received a master’s degree in health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. One of her projects focused on understanding how hospitals and health care facilities can ensure that all patients feel safe when accessing health care, regardless of their immigration status, exploring the concept of “sanctuary” and “safe spaces” in the clinical setting.
As an asylum evaluator for the PHR Asylum Network, Dr. Saadi has conducted evaluations for individuals in the community and in immigration detention centers. She has also assessed the medical conditions of confinement in immigration detention at facilities in California and Texas, including with Human Rights First and Disability Rights California. Her academic work has been published in the British Medical Journal, JAMA, JAMA Network Open, and Neurology, among others, and her personal writing in Boston NPR’s CommonHealth Blog, the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, STAT News, and Undark Magazine. Her work has also received media coverage in the Christian Science Monitor, Reuters, and Salon.
Saadi completed her undergraduate studies at Yale College and earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School, where she graduated cum laude and received the Dean’s Community Service Award.