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Richard T. Sarkin, MD, EdM


Richard Sarkin

The late Richard T. Sarkin, MD, EdM was an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and the Director of Pediatric Medical Student Education at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He was also an accomplished physician and a tireless advocate for the humanistic practice of medicine, that is, that good medicine requires more than technical competence – that idealism, altruism, compassion, and empathy are a vital part of medical practice. As an Arnold P. Gold Foundation Traveling Fellow, he presented workshops, lectures, and consultations at medical schools and hospitals across the country, teaching medical students, residents, faculty and educators what humanistic medicine is, how it can be taught, and how it should be practiced.

The life of Dr. Richard Sarkin was tragically ended in a plane crash on October 19, 2004 while traveling to a lecture and workshop. To those who knew him, and to those whose lives he had changed, his loss was deeply felt. Dr. Richard Sarkin was a man everyone wanted to be around because of his magnetic personality and energetic spirit. His teachings touched thousands of lives in Western New York and around the country. His strong devotion to work and reaching was outstanding, but pales in comparison to his love of spending time with friends and most of all his family. His family, friends, colleagues, and community decided to continue his tremendous vision through the establishment of the Sarkin Foundation, which serves to carry Richard’s legacy to foster the vital relationship between humanism and medicine.

About the Sarkin Foundation


The Richard T. Sarkin M.D. Foundation for Medical Education is a charitable trust that was established under a lifetime trust agreement dated October 30, 2004. The Foundation was established in Dr. Sarkin’s memory by his widow, Mrs. Marcia Sarkin, and several of his friends and colleagues. Its purpose is to continue Dr. Sarkin’s efforts to promote the growth of humanism in medicine, and specifically, to support the teaching of humanistic medicine in medical schools.

Given the Foundation’s limited resources, for the foreseeable future the Foundations Trustees have determined to focus their efforts and the Foundation’s resources on a single process. Beginning in 2005, the Foundation, in cooperation with the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, and other local teaching hospitals, will conduct an annual “Richard T. Sarkin Memorial Lecture in Humanistic Medicine”. This lecture will be offered by a distinguished advocate or practitioner of humanistic medicine for the benefit of medical students and faculty, residents, experienced physicians, and the community at large.