About Fatima Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA

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Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, MPH, MPA, MBA, FAAP, FACP, FAHA, FAMWA, FTOS is an obesity medicine physician scientist, educator, and policy maker at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She is a national and international sought after expert in obesity medicine who bridges the intersection of medicine, public health, policy, and disparities.

Dr. Stanford received her BS and MPH from Emory University as a MLK Scholar, her MD from the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine as a Stoney Scholar, her MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Zuckerman Fellow in the Harvard Center for Public Leadership, and her MBA at the Quantic School of Business and Technology as a merit-based scholar. She completed her Obesity Medicine & Nutrition Fellowship at MGH/HMS after completing her internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of South Carolina. 

Upon completion of her MPH, Dr. Stanford received the Gold Congressional Award, the highest honor that Congress bestows upon America’s youth. Dr. Stanford has completed a medicine and media internship at the Discovery Channel. An American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation Leadership Award recipient in 2005, an AMA Paul Ambrose Award for national leadership among resident physicians in 2009, she was selected for the AMA Inspirational Physician Award in 2015. The American College of Physicians (ACP) selected her as the 2013 recipient of the Joseph E. Johnson Leadership Award and the Massachusetts ACP selected her for the Young Leadership Award in 2015. She is the 2017 recipient of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Amos Diversity Award and Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) Award for Women’s Health. The MMS selected her as the 2019 Suffolk District Community Clinician of the Year and for the Reducing Health Disparities Award. She was named the 2020 Clinician of the Year by The Obesity Society (TOS). In 2021, she has received the HMS Young Mentor Award, the MMS Grant V. Rodkey Award for her contributions to medical education, and the AMA Dr. Edmond and Rima Cabbabe Dedication to the Profession Award.


Clinical Interests:



Mass General Digestive Healthcare Center: Weight Center
50 Staniford St.
4th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-4400

Medical Education

  • MPH, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health
  • MPA, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government
  • MD, Medical College of Georgia
  • Residency, Palmetto Health Richland Hospital
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, Richmond University Medical Center

American Board Certifications

  • Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics

Accepted Insurance Plans

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Dr. Stanford has research interests in obesity, health policy, and health disparities. Her research has focused on the long term benefits of physical activity in a large cohort, the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. In addition, she studied whether medical students and physicians meet the  US Department of Health & Human Services Guidelines in physical activity and what implications this has on guiding patients to be physically active.

In a manuscript published on individuals’ weight perception and its influence on consideration for bariatric surgery, she found that adult patients with weight discordance were less likely to consider weight loss surgery as a treatment option. Concurrently, she investigated whether race influenced the likelihood of undergoing bariatric surgery in patients referred for this intervention, and she found that while persons of low socioeconomic status were less likely to proceed with weight loss surgery, race did not appear to play a role.

Subsequently, she conducted a study on the role of obesity training on the knowledge of bariatric surgery in primary care physicians, and found that physicians who were young, had obesity, or received obesity education in medical school or postgraduate training were more likely to answer bariatric surgery knowledge questions correctly. However, there were still significant deficits in primary care physicians’ knowledge of bariatric surgery for adult patients.

Her current work focuses on the use of pharmacotherapy for patients who have undergone weight loss surgery, policy surrounding obesity coverage in the US and abroad, shared decision making in obesity therapy, weight bias and stigma, and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with obesity. 




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