Richard Saitz, MD

Professor, Community Health Sciences
Richard Saitz
Crosstown Center – CT433
View full profile at BUMC


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 Editor of Evidence-Based Medicine, associate editor of JAMA, and Senior Editor 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 textbook, Editor Emeritus of Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, and author of over two hundred peer-reviewed publications. 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.

Other Positions

  • Chair, Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health
  • Professor, General Internal Medicine, Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Active Staff Privileges, Medicine, Boston Medical Center


  • Boston University, BA
  • Boston University School of Medicine, MD
  • Harvard University, MPH

Classes Taught

  • SPHSB785
  • SPHSB785


  • Published on 2/1/2017

    Naimi TS, Stockwell T, Saitz R, Chikritzhs T. Selection bias and relationships between alcohol consumption and mortality. Addiction. 2017 Feb; 112(2):220-221. PMID: 28078703.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/31/2016

    Saitz R. Addiction Medicine. Alcohol: Screening and brief intervention for unhealthy alcohol consumption. Oxford University Press. Oxford. 2016.

  • Published on 12/31/2016

    Saitz R. Substance Use and Specific Health Care Settings: Substance use disorders in primary health care. In Saunders JB, Conigrave KM, Latt NC, Nutt DJ, Marshall EJ, Ling W, Higuchi S (Eds). Addiction Medicine, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. 2016.

  • Published on 12/31/2016

    Saitz R. UpToDate. Brief intervention for unhealthy alcohol and other drug use. Wolters Kluwer/UpToDate. Waltham. 2016.

    Read at: Custom
  • Published on 12/31/2016

    Saitz R. Screening for unhealthy use of alcohol and other drugs. In UpToDate. 2016.

    Read at: Custom
  • Published on 11/25/2016

    Kim TW, Bernstein J, Cheng DM, Lloyd-Travaglini C, Samet JH, Palfai TP, Saitz R. Receipt of Addiction Treatment as a Consequence of a Brief Intervention for Drug Use in Primary Care: A Randomized Trial. Addiction. 2016 Nov 25. PMID: 27886657.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/22/2016

    Williams EC, Hahn JA, Saitz R, Bryant K, Lira MC, Samet JH. Alcohol Use and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection: Current Knowledge, Implications, and Future Directions. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2016 Oct; 40(10):2056-2072. PMID: 27696523.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/12/2016

    Xuan Z, Naimi TS, Kaplan MS, Bagge CL, Few LR, Maisto S, Saitz R, Freeman R. Alcohol Policies and Suicide: A Review of the Literature. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2016 Oct; 40(10):2043-2055. PMID: 27618526.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/3/2016

    Walter AW, Cheng DM, Lloyd-Travaglini CA, Samet JH, Bernstein J, Saitz R. Are decreases in drug use risk associated with reductions in HIV sex risk behaviors among adults in an urban hospital primary care setting? Prev Med Rep. 2016 Dec; 4:410-6. PMID: 27570734.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/2/2016

    Maynié-François C, Cheng DM, Samet JH, Lloyd-Travaglini C, Palfai T, Bernstein J, Saitz R. Unhealthy alcohol use in primary care patients who screen positive for drug use. Subst Abus. 2016 Aug 02; 1-6. PMID: 27482999.

    Read at: PubMed

View 221 more publications:View full profile at BUMC

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