Ricardo Cruz, MD, MPH, MA, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center. He is primary care physician at Boston Medical Center in the Department of Medicine, Section of General Internal Medicine. He is a graduate of Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine (BUSM) and the Boston University School of Public Health earning his MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He completed his clinical training at BUSM/Boston Medical Center (BMC) Internal Medicine Residency Primary Care Training Program. Dr. Cruz joined BUSM faculty in 2014 and his clinical work focuses on care primary care and treatment of substance use disorders and viral hepatitis for vulnerable populations including racial and ethnic minority communities and individuals with history of criminal justice involvement. He is also a physician in the Faster Paths to Treatment, Boston Medical Center’s innovative, low-barrier substance use disorder bridge clinic.
His research interests include clinical innovations to address health and treatment disparities among people with substance use disorder. He was the Principal Investigator of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health funded Project RECOVER (Referral, Engagement, Coaching, Overdose preVention Education in Recovery), a project that utilizes peer recovery coaches to assist with engagement and retention of individuals with opioid use disorder into treatment and primary care services after completion of acute treatment services (detoxification). He has been a co-investigator on NIAAA and NIDA-funded randomized clinical trials testing medications for alcohol and cocaine use disorders.
In addition, he is a Clinician Educator and is Core Faculty of the Internal Medicine Primary Care Training Program at BUSM/BMC. He is in the BUSM Academy of Medical Educators where he teaches medical students during the pre-clinical doctoring courses with a focus on development of communication, physical exam, and clinical reasoning skills.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility
As faculty at BUSM/BMC, I work to deepen my understanding and incorporate strategies for applying diversity, equity, and inclusion to all aspects of my work.
As a clinician in the Section of General Internal Medicine, I set out to provide exceptional care without exception to Boston’s most undeserved groups (especially migrants from Spanish speaking countries, individuals with addiction, and individuals with a history of criminal justice involvement), many of whom face barriers to obtaining equitable health care. My goal is to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate care, commit to non-stigmatizing language, and incorporate antiracist techniques that consider systemic, structural and institutional sources of racism.
As Internal Medicine Residency core faculty, I work on recruitment efforts to promote diversity in the residency class. My role is both in the recruitment process and the ongoing support through mentorship and professional coaching to ensure Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) residents are retained and achieve success in the residency program. In addition, through a collaboration with Yale University School of Medicine, I serve as a mentor for the Recognizing and Eliminating disparities in Addiction through Culturally informed Healthcare program (REACH), a program set to improve diversity in addiction medical workforce (i.e., Medicine, Psychiatry).
As a clinical innovator, I was a principal investigator that led a diverse team to implement a million dollar grant from the Office of Minority Health, Health and Human Services to test a clinical model providing ongoing peer recovery support to support individuals of color with substance use disorder who are transitioning from detoxification services to ensure engagement and continued retention in lifesaving addiction treatment.
As an educator, I initiated and lead an innovative advocacy experience for primary care and urban health residents that combines medical and legal expertise in advocating for equitable addiction and behavioral health treatment for people of color with criminal justice involvement. I also educate residents and medical students on the health impact and inequities driven by the criminal justice system and promote appropriate treatment for these vulnerable patients.
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit
Innovations in Anti-Racism to Address the Overdose Crisis
07/01/2021 - 06/30/2022 (PI)
Prisoners' Legal Services of Massachusetts RIZE Massachusetts
Project Recover (Referral, engagement, Case management and Overdose preVention Education in Recov…
09/30/2017 - 05/31/2021 (PI)
Office of Minority Health/Assistant Secretary for Health/DHHS
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other
sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can
to make corrections and additions.
Martin AK, Perryman T, Bernstein JA, Taylor JL, Cruz R, Muroff J, Samet JH, Assoumou SA. Peer recovery coaching for comprehensive HIV, hepatitis C, and opioid use disorder management: The CHORUS pilot study. Drug Alcohol Depend Rep. 2023 Jun; 7:100156.View Related Profiles. PMID: 37113387; PMCID: PMC10126838; DOI: 10.1016/j.dadr.2023.100156;
Larochelle MR, Cruz R, Kosakowski S, Gourlay DL, Alford DP, Xuan Z, Krebs EE, Yan S, Lasser KE, Samet JH, Liebschutz JM. Do Urine Drug Tests Reveal Substance Misuse Among Patients Prescribed Opioids for Chronic Pain? J Gen Intern Med. 2022 Aug; 37(10):2365-2372.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34405344; PMCID: PMC9360386; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-021-07095-8;
Taylor JL, Johnson S, Cruz R, Gray JR, Schiff D, Bagley SM. Integrating Harm Reduction into Outpatient Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Settings : Harm Reduction in Outpatient Addiction Treatment. J Gen Intern Med. 2021 12; 36(12):3810-3819.View Related Profiles. PMID: 34159545; PMCID: PMC8218967; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-021-06904-4;
Falk DE, Ryan ML, Fertig JB, Devine EG, Cruz R, Brown ES, Burns H, Salloum IM, Newport DJ, Mendelson J, Galloway G, Kampman K, Brooks C, Green AI, Brunette MF, Rosenthal RN, Dunn KE, Strain EC, Ray L, Shoptaw S, Ait-Daoud Tiouririne N, Gunderson EW, Ransom J, Scott C, Leggio L, Caras S, Mason BJ, Litten RZ. Gabapentin Enacarbil Extended-Release for Alcohol Use Disorder: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multisite Trial Assessing Efficacy and Safety. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2019 01; 43(1):158-169.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30403402; PMCID: PMC6317996; DOI: 10.1111/acer.13917;
Bickmore TW, Trinh H, Olafsson S, O'Leary TK, Asadi R, Rickles NM, Cruz R. Patient and Consumer Safety Risks When Using Conversational Assistants for Medical Information: An Observational Study of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. J Med Internet Res. 2018 09 04; 20(9):e11510. PMID: 30181110; PMCID: PMC6231817; DOI: 10.2196/11510;
This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown,
or last author.
2018 Boston University School of Medicine:
Outstanding Citizenship Award
Available to Mentor as: (Review Mentor Role Definitions)
Dr. Cruz has mentored medical students and residents in multiple areas including education, clinical innovation and advocacy work related to substance use disorders and care for individuals with criminal justice involvement. With work leading to multiple regional and national presentations. He provides longitudinal clinical mentorship for internal medicine residents interested in primary care, substance use disorder treatment, and care for individuals transitioning out of correctional institutions.