Richard Saitz, MD

Professor, Community Health Sciences
Richard Saitz
Crosstown Center – CT433
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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.

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


  • Published on 11/17/2014

    Park TW, Cheng DM, Samet JH, Winter MR, Saitz R. Chronic care management for substance dependence in primary care among patients with co-occurring disorders. Psychiatr Serv. 2015 Jan 1; 66(1):72-9.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/1/2014

    Saitz R. Medications for alcohol use disorders. JAMA. 2014 Oct 1; 312(13):1349.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/3/2014

    Kelly JF, Wakeman SE, Saitz R. Stop talking ''dirty'': clinicians, language, and quality of care for the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Am J Med. 2015 Jan; 128(1):8-9.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/2/2014

    Saitz R. Screening and brief intervention for unhealthy drug use: little or no efficacy. Front Psychiatry. 2014; 5:121.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/28/2014

    Johnson NA, Kypri K, Latter J, McElduff P, Saunders JB, Saitz R, Attia J, Dunlop A, Doran C, Wolfenden L, McCambridge J. Prevalence of unhealthy alcohol use in hospital outpatients. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Nov 1; 144:270-3.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/27/2014

    Saitz R. The best evidence for alcohol screening and brief intervention in primary care supports efficacy, at best, not effectiveness: You say tomato, I say tomato? That''s not all it''s about. Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2014; 9:14.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/6/2014

    Saitz R, Palfai TP, Cheng DM, Alford DP, Bernstein JA, Lloyd-Travaglini CA, Meli SM, Chaisson CE, Samet JH. Screening and brief intervention for drug use in primary care: the ASPIRE randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2014 Aug 6; 312(5):502-13.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/1/2014

    Saitz R. Lost in translation: The perils of implementing alcohol brief intervention when there are gaps in evidence and its interpretation. Addiction. 2014 Jul; 109(7):1060-2.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/18/2014

    Mojarrad M, Samet JH, Cheng DM, Winter MR, Saitz R. Marijuana use and achievement of abstinence from alcohol and other drugs among people with substance dependence: A prospective cohort study. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 Sep 1; 142:91-7.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/9/2014

    Palfai TP, Saitz R, Winter M, Brown TA, Kypri K, Goodness TM, O''Brien LM, Lu J. Web-based screening and brief intervention for student marijuana use in a university health center: Pilot study to examine the implementation of eCHECKUP TO GO in different contexts. Addict Behav. 2014 Sep; 39(9):1346-52.

    Read at: PubMed

View 178 more publications:View full profile at BUMC