Sara Handy, MD, MPH

Year of Graduation:

Academic Activities and Responsibilities

I was born and raised in and around Minneapolis, Minnesota (I'll do the accent if you ask). A benefit of yearly car trips with the fam, I got to visit every state in the continental U.S. (plus some Canadian provinces) by age 18. Sadly I still haven't been to Alaska. I went off to upstate New York to major in biology at Bard College, a strange little school in the woods known for embracing deviancy. While there I entertained the idea of grad school in Neuroscience, and I got into learning and memory research after working in a psych PET imaging lab at a hospital, but hours in basic science labs and meeting too many unhappy postdocs dissuaded me. I spent a year studying French in Nantes, France - staying with a crazy French family, loving the food and wine, and traveling around Europe every chance I had. Upon graduating I moved down to NYC and got a job as a medical secretary at Memorial Sloan Kettering and then as a clinical research tech at Rockefeller University with a lab investigating the neurobiology of addiction. My experiences there plus as a volunteer giving flu shots in underserved communities sparked my interest in public health. I did my MD/MPH at SUNY Downstate. My favorite time in med school was a 2 month clinical elective in Bangalore, India.
I was thrilled to come down to Baltimore for U of MD. I love my fellow residents! The faculty are brilliant yet warm and there's a high priority on teaching. Our directors are truly our advocates. Most of our patients are decidedly of urban Baltimore with many social challenges that go with it, but there's more diversity than I'd expected. When not wearing a white coat I hike, travel, practice yoga, read (fiction!), eat/cook with friends and family, and spend time with my son Desmond.

Research Interests


- International Medicine
- Disaster and Mass Casualty Preparedness
- Infectious Disease
- Public Health

Specific Ideas or Innovations that Intrigue:

- A $3 Water Purifier That Could Save Lives

- Faster, More Accurate Tuberculosis Tests

- Potential for portable ultrasound use internationally