Pulmonary & Critical Care Fellowship Program
MGH BIDMC Harvard Medical School

Richard M. Schwartzstein, MD


Richard M. Schwartzstein, MD

Division Chief, Pulmonary at BIDMC

Executive Director, Shapiro Institute for Education and Research

Director of the Academy, Harvard Medical School

Professor of Medicine and Medical Education

Area of Expertise: Physiology, Dyspnea, Medical Education

Academic Interests

Physiological mechanisms of dyspnea; links between quality of dyspnea/patient reports and underlying physiology; medical education with particular emphasis on teaching critical thinking and inductive reasoning.

Awards and Recognition

  • S. Robert Stone Award for Excellence in Teaching, Harvard Medical School

  • Harvard Medical School Prize for Excellence in Teaching (Years 1 & 2)

  • Clinical Educator Award, Clinical Problems Assembly of the American Thoracic Society

  • Best Preclinical Teacher, Class of 2006, Harvard Medical School

  • Finalist, 4th Annual Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge for textbook Respiratory Physiology, A Clinical Approach. Award given by the National Science Foundation and the journal Science.

  • Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teaching Award presented by Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society and the Association of American Medical Colleges

  • Best Preclinical Teacher, Class of 2008, Harvard Medical School

  • Harvard Medical School Donald O’Hara Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching

  • The Grant V. Rodkey MD Award from the Massachusetts Medical Society Award given for the physician who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the education and welfare of medical students and who has made significant contributions to medical students, both in the hospital and in organized medicine.

  • Best Preclinical Teacher, Class of 2014, Harvard Medical School

  • Outstanding Educator Award, American Thoracic Society

  • Fellow, American College of Chest Physicians

More information can be found on Dr. Schwartzstein’s Harvard Catalyst Profile.

+Current Projects

  • Study of pulmonary faculty and fellows and their approach to treatment of dyspnea at different stages of patient disease.
  • Use of student generated concept maps to identify learners who are at risk of poor performance in preclerkship courses.
  • Evaluation of “speed teaching” as a strategy to enhance self-directed learning.

+Selected Publications

  1. Schwartzstein RM, LaHive K, Pope A, Weinberger SE, Weiss JW. Cold facial stimulation reduces breathlessness induced in normal subjects. Am Rev Respir Dis 1987;136:58-61.
  2. Demediuk BH, Manning H, Lilly J, Fencl V, Weinberger SE, Weiss JW, Schwartzstein RM. Dissociation between dyspnea and respiratory effort. Am Rev Respir Dis 1992;146:1222-1225.
  3. Manning HL, Schwartzstein RM. Pathophysiology of dyspnea. N Engl J Med 1995; 333:1547-1553.
  4. Moy ML, Weiss JW, Sparrow D, Israel E, Schwartzstein RM. Quality of dyspnea in bronchoconstriction differs from external resistive loads. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2000; 162:451-455.
  5. Binks AP, Moosavi SH, Banzett RB, Schwartzstein RM. Tightness sensation of asthma does not arise from the work of breathing. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002;165:78-82.
  6. Moosavi SH, Binks AP, Lansing RW, Topulos GP, Banzett RB, Schwartzstein RM. Effect of inhaled furosemide on air hunger induced in healthy humans. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology. 2007;156:1-8.
  7. Fincher RE, White C, Huang C, Schwartzstein RM. Toward hypothesis-driven medical education research: Task force report from the 2007 Millennium Conference on Educational Research. Acad Med. 2010;85:821-828
  8. Banzett RB, Adams L, O’Donnell CR, Gillman SA, Lansing RW, Schwartzstein RM. Using laboratory models to test treatment: Morphine reduces dyspnea and hypercapnic ventilatory response. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011:184:920-927.
  9. Schwartzstein RM, Parker MJ. Rising PaCO2 in the ICU: Using a physiologic approach to avoid cognitive biases. Chest 2011;140:1638-1642.
  10. Harver A, Schwartzstein RM, Kotses H, Humphries CT, Schmaling KB, Mullin ML. Descriptors of breathlessness in children with persistent asthma. Chest. 2011:139:832-838.
  11. Parshall MB, Schwartzstein RM, Adams L, Banzett RB, Manning HL, Bourbeau J, Calverley PM, Gift AG, Harver A, Lareau SC, Mahler DA, Meek PM, O’Donnell DE – ATS Committee on Dyspnea. An official American Thoracic Society statement: update on the mechanisms, assessment and management of dyspnea. Am J Resp Crit Care Med. 2012;185:435-452.
  12. Meek PM, Banzett R, Parshall MB, Gracely RH, Schwartzstein RM, Lansing R. Reliability and validity of the multi-dimensional dyspnea profile. Chest 2012;141:1546-1553.
  13. Papp K, Huang GC, Lauzon Clabo LM, Delva D, Fisher M, Konopasek L, Schwartzstein R, Gusic M. Milestones of critical thinking: A developmental model for medicine and nursing. Acad Med. 2014;89:715-720.
  14. Krupat E, Richards JB, Sullivan AM, Fleenor TJ, Schwartzstein RM. Assessing the effectiveness of case based collaborative learning via randomized control trial. Acad Med. 2016;91:723-729.
  15. Sullivan AM, Rock LK, Gadmer NM, Norwich DE. Schwartzstein RM. The impact of resident training on communication with families in the intensive care unit: Resident and family outcomes. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016;13:512-521.
  16. Fischer K, Schwartzstein RM. Assessing the Effectiveness of Mechanistic Concept Mapping in Case-Based Collaborative Learning. Acad Med. 2019;94:208-212.
  17. Schwartzstein RM, Parker MJ. Respiratory Physiology: A Clinical Approach. Baltimore, MD. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkens, 2005.
  18. Schwartzstein RM, Adams L. Dyspnea, in Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, King, TE Jr, Schraufnagel DE, Murray JF, Nadel JA. Murray and Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine, 5th edition. Philadelphia, Saunders. 2010, pp. 613-627.
  19. Schwartzstein RM. Getting the right medical students: Nature versus nurture. New Engl J Med. 2015;372:1586-1587.
  20. Simpkin A, Schwartzstein RM. Tolerating uncertainty: The next medical revolution. New Engl J Med. 2016;375:1713-1714.
  21. Schwartzstein RM, Roberts DH. Saying goodbye to lectures in medical school: Paradigm shift or passing fad? New Engl J Med. 2017;377:605-607.