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Description of Event: Chronic low back pain is a common concern for patients. Dr. Robert Saper, MD, MPH will discuss the research regarding yoga to treat chronic low back pain followed by a workshop demonstrating relevant and helpful yoga techniques.
Speaker Bio: Dr. Saper joined Cleveland Clinic after serving as Director of Integrative Medicine for the Boston Medical Center Department of Family Medicine since 2004, where he founded the Program for Integrative Medicine and Health Disparities with a mission to provide evidence-based integrative health for all through clinical services, research and education. He also held positions as Professor of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, Director of the Family Medicine Academic Fellowship, Department Chair of Appointments and Promotions, and Patient Experience Champion.
Dr. Saper earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1988. He went on to complete an internship and residency in family practice at San Francisco General Hospital in 1991 and served as Chief Resident in family practice at the hospital from 1991-1992. Afterward, he practiced as full-spectrum private family practice physician in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 2001, Dr. Saper launched a three-year undertaking to retrain for an academic medical career, completing a National Institute of Health (NIH)-funded fellowship in complementary alternative medicine research and faculty development at Harvard Medical School. In 2003, he both completed the fellowship and earned his master’s degree in public health from Harvard University.
In 2004, Dr. Saper joined the Boston University faculty and medical staff of Boston Medical Center. While on staff, he participated in several NIH-funded research studies, including a pilot study of yoga for chronic low back pain in predominantly low-income minorities. Other studies he conducted include comparing the effectiveness and cost of yoga, physical therapy and education for back pain, as well as yoga for back pain in veterans. Other major areas of his research cover the safety and efficacy of traditional Indian herbal medicines. Dr. Saper has held various leadership roles for various committees at the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, as well as for national organizations, such as the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health.
Dr. Saper’s work has appeared in over 60 peer-reviewed publications; he has participated in 200 invited presentations; and received 25 research grants. Dr. Saper has received awards and honors for his accomplishments, including Recognition for Outstanding Teaching by Harvard Medical School and the Be Exceptional Award from Boston Medical Center. In addition to his medical, academic and research accomplishments, Dr. Saper is also a certified yoga teacher.