Richard Saitz, MD, MPH
CARE Unit Faculty
Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health
Chair, Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health
Director, Division of Clinical Research Resources, Clinical Translational Science Institute
Associate Director, Office of Clinical Research, Boston University Medical Center
Co Editor in Chief, Addiction Science & Clinical Practice
Editor, Evidence-based Medicine
Crosstown Center, 801 Massachusetts Ave., 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02118
Dr. Richard Saitz is a general internist and primary care physician, Chair and Professor of Community Health Sciences at Boston University (BU) School of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine at BU School of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, and is certified by the American Boards of Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. He is currently also Chair of the treatment and services review committee for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Editor of Evidence-Based Medicine and Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, Section Editor and sole author of key chapters in UpToDate on unhealthy alcohol and other drug use, Editor of a leading textbook Principles of Addiction Medicine, and author of over 160 peer-reviewed publications. He was Director of Boston Medical Center’s Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit, a leading center of excellence contributing to BU’s high ranking for training in drug and alcohol disorders, for over a decade, and he continues as an active member. His experience includes being Chairman of an Institutional Review Board, Associate Director of Clinical research for the BU Medical Campus, past President of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse, membership on the steering committee of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, and coordinating committee member for the International Network for Brief Intervention for Alcohol and other drug problems. His primary areas of expertise and research, supported by NIH, RWJF, and SAMHSA, are screening and brief intervention for unhealthy alcohol and other drug use, integrating substance-related and general health care, such as chronic disease and care management, and improving the quality of care for people with addictions across the spectrum of use, particularly in general medical care settings. Among awards received are the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, the Boston Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Leaders Award, Best Doctors in America®, AMERSA’s W. Anderson Spickard, Jr. Excellence in Mentorship Award, the R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award (American Society of Addiction Medicine), and the Research Society on Alcoholism Distinguished Scientist Award, 2012.
Boston University faculty appointment: 1993
Areas of Specialization
- Alcohol and drug screening and brief intervention education and research
- Alcohol and drug health services research
- Chronic care management and integrated care for unhealthy substance use, medical and other mental health conditions
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Online interventions
- Management of unhealthy substance use in general health settings
Education and Training
Henry J Kaiser Faculty Development Fellowship Program (General Medicine), Harvard University, Boston, MA 1991-1993
Chief resident (Internal Medicine), Boston City Hospital, Boston, MA, 1990-1991
Resident (Primary Care/Internal Medicine), Boston City Hospital, Boston, MA, 1987-1990
MD, Boston University, Boston, MA
MPH (Quantitative Methods), Harvard University, Boston, MA
BA (Medical Sciences), Boston University, Boston, MA
Honors and Awards
- Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society
- Ten Outstanding Young Leaders Award, Boston Jaycees, 2003
- Elected by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America®, Boston Magazine, 2003 to 2012
- The W. Anderson Spickard, Jr. Excellence in Mentorship Award, Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA), 2011
- R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award, American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), 2012
Saitz R. Alcohol screening and brief intervention in primary care: Absence of evidence for efficacy in people with dependence or very heavy drinking. Drug Alcohol Rev 2010; 29:631-640. PMCID: PMC2966031
Saitz R, Palfai TP, Cheng DM, Horton NJ, Freedner N, Dukes K, Kraemer KL, Roberts MS, Guerriero RT, Samet JH. Brief intervention for medical inpatients with unhealthy alcohol use: A randomized controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 2007; 146:167-176.
Saitz R, Horton NJ, Larson MJ, Winter M, Samet JH. Primary medical care and reductions in addiction severity: a prospective cohort study. Addiction 2005; 100:70-8.
Saitz R, Horton NJ, Sullivan LM et al. Addressing alcohol problems in primary care: a cluster randomized, controlled trial of a systems intervention. Ann Intern Med 2003; 138(5):372-82.
Saitz R, Mayo-Smith MF, Roberts MS, Redmond HA, Bernard DR, Calkins DR. Individualized treatment for alcohol withdrawal: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. JAMA 1994; 272:519-523.