American Society of Addiciton Medicine
Apr 1, 2022 Reporting from Rockville, MD
Remembrance of Rich Saitz
https://www.asam.org/blog-details/article/2022/04/01/remembrance-of-rich-saitz
Apr 1, 2022
I first met Rich Saitz during my residency interview for the Boston University School of Medicine’s Primary Care Training Program.

Remembrance of Rich Saitz.Substring(0, maxlength)

American Society of Addictin Medicine

Blog

Remembrance of Rich Saitz

I first met Rich Saitz during my residency interview for the Boston University School of Medicine’s Primary Care Training Program. Having had my interest in addiction medicine piqued during medical school, I had toyed with the idea of psychiatry over internal medicine. But the minute I heard Rich enthusiastically describe the opportunities, and need, to integrate primary care and addiction medicine, I was sold. Rich’s logical, clear thinking and teaching style was an incredible model for me as a resident. His whiteboard explanations for formulating the research question and applying the literature are images I carry with me to this day. His curiosity about people and the differential diagnosis, along with his mantra of “follow the evidence,” made him a favorite among attendings. Rich was a huge part of my residency training and early career, even after I left Boston.

I recall traveling from Baltimore to Boston to sit at the dining room table in the Newton home Rich shared with Angela Jackson (my residency program director!) to review data analyses for a project on smoking cessation counseling among patients treated with methadone for opioid use disorder. Rich grew more and more animated as we talked about the potential implications of our findings, helping me feel like I had just struck gold (even though the findings were less than earth-shattering). With Rich’s encouragement and advice, and Dan Alford’s support, I turned that project into my first peer-reviewed publication. Rich was supportive of my career steps even after I left academia, reminding me that it’s important to do what makes you happy.

For all of Rich’s incredible talents and contributions, what I will always remember him for is his big smile, hearty laugh, and ability to find enjoyment in life. Rich, we miss you.

- Yngvild K. Olsen, MD, MPH