Richard Saitz, MD, MPH Achievement Award

A Chief Resident participant will be awarded the annual “Richard Saitz, MD, MPH Achievement Award” based on their Substance Use Teaching Project (SUTP) quality (breadth, promotion of evidence-based care, and impact) and degree of completion at 10 months post-CRIT. The awardee will receive a commemorative plaque, will be added to the list of awardees on the CRIT program website and the awardees program director and department chair will receive a letter notification of the honor.

About Richard Saitz, MD, MPH

Richard Saitz, MD, MPH was a Professor of Medicine & Public Health at Boston University, and international leader in the field of addiction until his untimely death in 2022. His research improved how patients with substance use problems are treated in medical settings.  He demanded clarity on what evidence could support, and what it did not.

Dr. Saitz had an international reputation in both alcohol and drug addiction research. His mantra was “follow the evidence.” His landmark article, “Individualized Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal: A Randomized Double-blind Controlled Trial,” changed practice regarding the approach to the treatment of the common problem of alcohol withdrawal syndrome. At his core, Rich was a dedicated physician committed to his patients. He directed Boston Medical Center’s Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Unit for more than a decade. His leadership in the addiction world was manifested in his many roles, including as associate editor for the Journal of the American Medical Association, editor-in-chief of the 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, editor of Evidence-Based Medicine, author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, and former president of the Association of Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance use and Addiction (AMERSA), in addition to numerous honors and awards.

Dr. Saitz committed himself to the advancement of junior colleagues serving as a mentor to many, both in the USA and internationally. His critical, thoughtful understanding of the medical literature with regard to addressing alcohol and drug addiction issues, particularly as it related to chronic medical problems, set him apart as an invaluable authority in the academic community. His research focused on screening and brief interventions, integrating substance-related and general health care, and improving the quality of care, particularly in general health settings. He validated single-item screening questions recommended by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.