Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM

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Professor, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health

Chair, Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health

Editor Emeritus, Addiction Science & Clinical Practice

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Addiction Medicine

Associate Editor, Journal of the American Medical Association

Crosstown Center, 801 Massachusetts Ave., 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02118


Richard Saitz MD, MPH, FACP (Fellow, American College of Physicians), DFASAM (Distinguished Fellow, American Society of Addiction Medicine), is a general internist (diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, DABIM) and primary care physician, an addiction medicine specialist (diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine, DABAM), 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 Chaired the Treatment and Services review committee for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, is Associate Editor for Journal of the American Medical Association and Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Addiction Medicine, Section Editor and sole author of key chapters in UpToDate® on unhealthy substance use, an editor of The ASAM Principles of Addiction Medicine, Editor Emeritus of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, author of over two hundred peer-reviewed publications, and was editor of Evidence-Based Medicine.

He was Director of Boston Medical Center’s Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit for over a decade, has been Chairman of an Institutional Review Board, Associate Director of Clinical Research for BU, President of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA), steering committee member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT), and is coordinating committee member of International Network for Brief Intervention for Alcohol and other drug problems (INEBRIA). He is on the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors (ISAJE) Board now as Vice President. His primary areas of expertise supported by NIH, RWJF, and SAMHSA, are screening and brief intervention, integrating substance-related and general health care, improving the quality of care for people with unhealthy substance use, particularly in general health settings, and basing care on science. He validated single-item screening questions recommended by NIDA and NIAAA. Awards: Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, 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 (ASAM), Research Society on Alcoholism Distinguished Researcher Award, Educator of the Year Award (ASAM), James H. Tharp Award (ASAM), David C. Lewis, MD Service to AMERSA Award.

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

BU Profiles: Publications and Grant Support