Dr. Aasim Padela is an internationally-recognized thought and research leader in the fields of Muslim health disparities and Islamic Bioethics. In addition to leading the Initiative on Islam and Medicine, he maintains an active clinical, research, and clinical ethics practice at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Dr. Padela holds an MD from Weill Cornell Medical College and received an MSc in Healthcare Research from the University of Michigan. He completed residency in emergency medicine at the University of Rochester, and clinical medical ethics training at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. He also holds Bachelor’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Classical Arabic from the University of Rochester, and has studied Islamic theology and law in seminary and academic settings nationally and abroad.
As a scholar, Dr. Padela’s focus is on the intersections of healthcare, bioethics, and religion. Overall, his scholarship aims at improving health and healthcare through better accommodating religious values in healthcare delivery. Using Muslim Americans and Islam as a model, he studies how (i) religion impacts patient health behaviors and healthcare experiences, (ii) informs the professional identities and workplace experiences of clinicians, and (iii) furnishes bioethical guidance to patients, providers, policy-makers, and religious leaders. This knowledge is subsequently mobilized towards educational and policy interventions. His projects cover critical issues related to cancer screening, organ donation, end-of-life care, and the intersection of religion and science. This work has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the Templeton Religion Trust, the American Cancer Society, the Health Research and Services Administration, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the Greenwall Foundation, the Institute for Social Policy & Understanding, and other foundations.
As a scholar and thought-leader, he has authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and three forthcoming books on Islam and Biomedicine and Ethics. He has also delivered dozens of keynote lectures and seminars across the globe, and has consulted with religious and health authorities on topics related to policy and ethics. Critically, his work and expert commentary has been featured in multiple leading media outlets including the New York Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, National Public Radio, BBC, and CNN. As a service to the profession, he holds editorial positions for the Encyclopedia of Islamic Bioethics, the American Journal of Bioethics, BMC Medical Ethics, Global Bioethics, the International Journal of Islam, BETIM Journal of Medical Humanities, and TAHFIM Journal of Islam and the Contemporary World.
MS, Healthcare Research, University of Michigan; MD, Weill Cornell Medical College; BS, Biomedical Engineering, University of Rochester; BA, Classical Arabic & Literature, University of Rochester
Dr. Padela appeared on a ISPU’s weekly video series Wisdom Wednesday to share reflections on the intersection of religious practice and the ethics of healthcare provision in the COVID-19 era.
More than a decade after September 11, 2001 and we are only now really beginning to comprehend the health fallout from the terrorist attacks. The effects suffered by first-responders and those who lived in downtown New York City have become increasingly clear, and have rightly...
Despite growing numbers of American Muslims, little empirical work exists on their use of traditional healing practices. We explored the types of traditional healing practices used by American Muslims in southeast Michigan. Twelve semi-structured interviews with American Muslim community leaders identified through a community-academic steering...
Presented by the University of Michigan Medical School and ISPU, this unique 2-day conference brings together Islamic scholars and religious leaders, social scientists, health professionals and other stakeholders to discuss Islamic law, bioethics, medicine and health policy. Watch here. ISPU scholars are provided a space...
The Islamic values and cultural practices of American Muslims can play a role in community health disparities by influencing health behaviors and healthcare-seeking patterns and presenting challenges within the healthcare system. To date, scant empirical research has been conducted in collaboration with this community in...
As the Park51 community center and mosque project near Ground Zero is painted as an issue of the rights and future of the American Muslim community, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has been challenged to demonstrate that he is a moderate voice for Islam. By portraying...
Padela, A.I., M. Ali, and A. Yusuf. “Aligning Medical and Muslim Morality: An Islamic Bioethical Approach to Applying and Rationing Life Sustaining Ventilators in the COVID-19 Pandemic Era.” Journal of Islamic Ethics 5 (2021): 1-36.
Padela, A. I., R. Duivenbode, M. Quinn, and M. Saunders. 2020. Informing American Muslims about Living Donation Through Tailored Health Education: A Randomized Controlled Cross-Over Trial Evaluating Increase in Biomedical and Religious Knowledge. American Journal of Transplantation.
A. I. Padela, H. Adam, M. Ahmad, Z. Hosseinain, and F. Curlin, “Religious Identity and Workplace Discrimination: A National Survey of American Muslim Physicians,” AJOB Empirical Bioethics 7, no. 3 (2016): 149–59.
U. Ezenkwele, G. S. Roodsari, and A. I. Padela, “Religio-cultural Considerations When Providing Health Care to American Muslims,” in Diversity and Inclusion in Quality Patient Care, eds. M. L. Martin, S. L. Heron, L. Moreno-Walton, and A. W. Jones (Springer International, 2016).
A. Killawi, M. Heisler, H. Hamid, and A. I. Padela, “Using Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) for Health Research in American Muslim Mosque Communities,” Progress in Community Health Partnerships 9, no. 1 (2015): 65–74.
Padela, A. I. H. Din, S. Malik, S. Hall and M. Quinn. 2019. Changing mammography-related barrier and facilitator beliefs among American Muslim women: Findings from a religiously-tailored mosque-based intervention. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 21:1325-1333
A. I. Padela and M. Heisler, “The Association of Perceived Abuse and Discrimination After September 11, 2001, With Psychological Distress, Level of Happiness, and Health Status Among Arab Americans,” American Journal of Public Health 100, no. 2 (2010): 284–91.