Harvard Catalyst Profiles

Contact, publication, and social network information about Harvard faculty and fellows.

Richard Martin Schwartzstein, M.D.


Magna Cum Laude
Phi Beta Kappa
Philo Sherman Bennet Thesis Award, Honorable Mention
Excellence in Teaching Award, Outstanding Lecturer, Class of 2001
Class of 2004 Teaching Award, Best Lecturer, Integrated Human Physiology
Class of 2005 Teaching Award, Best Course Director
Class of 2005 Teaching Award, Best Course, Integrated Human Physiology
Class of 2005 Teaching Award, Best Syllabus, Integrated Human Physiology
Class of 2005, Teaching Award, Best Lecturer, Integrated Human Physiology
S. Robert Stone Award for Excellence in Teaching
Class of 2006, Excellence in Teaching Award
Harvard Medical School Prize for Excellence in Teaching (Years 1 and 2)
Class of 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award
Clinical Educator Award
Robert C Moellering Jr Award in recognition of excellence in teaching, research, and clinical care
Best Preclinical Teacher, Class Day Award
Robert J Glaser Distinguished Teaching Award
Best Preclincal Teacher, Class Day Award

For the past fifteen years, the focus of much of my clinical and administrative work, as well as my teaching and research has been respiratory physiology. Within this broad field, I have developed a particular interest and expertise in the area of the physiology and language of dyspnea. I have had the unique opportunity to integrate the three major facets of my professional academic life in such a way that each component offers insights that strengthen my capabilities in the other areas. By providing care for patients afflicted with respiratory discomfort, for example, I have gained knowledge that has led to the development and testing of research hypotheses that have broadened our understanding of the physiology of dyspnea, and of the interactions between chemoreceptors, upper airway, pulmonary and chest wall receptors in the generation and modulation of breathlessness. My research on the language of dyspnea, the terms used by patients to describe their breathing discomfort, has, in turn, made me a more astute clinician.Additionally, these clinical and research efforts have made me a far stronger teacher. In fulfilling my educational responsibilities, which range from directing the integrated human physiology course for first year medical students at Harvard to continuing education courses at the annual meetings of the American Thoracic Society, I am able to make the physiology “come alive,” to make it relevant based on my own experiences in the laboratory and at the bedside. It is immensely helpful when questioned by a student about ventilatory control, for example, to be able to say: “Yes, we studied that - what do you think the subjects did under these circumstances?” Because of the trend in recent years for biomedical research to become more focused on cellular biology, there has been a movement to segregate researchers from medical educators. For me, active work as a clinical investigator has been critical to enhancing my capabilities as a teacher and has allowed me to provide a model for students to consider as they contemplate their own career choices.

In the past several years, I have added a new dimension to my teaching activities. Healthcare in America is changing at a rapid pace as the pressures of limited resources and managed care become more prevalent. It is my belief that the training of new physicians must incorporate a solid understanding of healthcare financing along with traditional clinical skills if we are to prepare them for the future. Consequently, with funding provided by the Merck Foundation, I developed a three-year program in medical economics, cost-effective and evidence-based medicine for the medical housestaff at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and serve as a mentor for senior residents pursuing projects in healthcare economics. Again, I hope to demonstrate to interns and residents that one can be a quality clinician and researcher and still be cognizant of the pressures and demands of the society in which we live.

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
Newest   |   Oldest   |   Most Cited   |   Most Discussed   |   Timeline   |   Field Summary   |   Plain Text
PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
This operation might take several minutes to complete. Please do not close your browser.
Local representatives can answer questions about the Profiles website or help with editing a profile or issues with profile data. For assistance with this profile: HMS/HSDM faculty should contact contactcatalyst.harvard.edu. For faculty or fellow appointment updates and changes, please ask your appointing department to contact HMS. For fellow personal and demographic information, contact HMS Human Resources at human_resourceshms.harvard.edu. For faculty personal and demographic information, contact HMS Office for Faculty Affairs at facappthms.harvard.edu.
Schwartzstein's Networks
Click the
buttons for more information and interactive visualizations!
Concepts (429)
Co-Authors (94)
Similar People (60)
Same Department 
Physical Neighbors
Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.