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It was with sadness that we marked the passing of our friend and former Editor of BMJ-EBM, Dr Richard Saitz. What does it mean to be a good man? It means to be kind, compassionate, diligent, to optimise your potential and use it to contribute, to teach and mentor and to create conditions for collaboration to flourish. Rich was a good man. We all in our own ways treasured Rich and what we learnt from him as we worked together. It was an honour and a pleasure to be part of an editorial team for a journal that valued our contributions. As such, we were able to travel and to meet annually for team building. Perhaps Rich could have gone ahead faster alone, but he preferred to take others along with him to go further.
Rich contributed professionally to many domains as a scholar, clinician and educator in his roles as Professor of Medicine and Professor and Chair of Community Health Sciences at Boston University. As an accomplished scholar in alcohol and drug addiction research, he had a passion for advancing clinical care through improving the evidence base and combining it with person-centred care in his role as director of the Boston Medical Center’s Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit. A sharp intellect, firm grasp on the evidence, kind mentorship and an outgoing warm personality and wit characterised Rich.
In Emerson’s words, ‘The purpose of life is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well’, Richard Saitz can lay down his burdens in the satisfaction that he has fought the good fight. We suspect he would add, with a sly twinkle in his eye ‘and that you had fun and good food and a few adventures with some good people, with whom you did good work’. We would like to extend our sincere condolences to Angela Jackson, MD, and their two daughters Isabella and Tatiana, to their family and to the many friends and colleagues who will miss Rich.
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Twitter @DCScherer, @profkkhan, @fenton_jj
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.