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Usatine, Richard P.

USATINE, Richard P.


Married Janna Lesser (an educator); children: Rebecca, Jeremy. Education: Williams College, B.A., 1978; Columbia University, M.D., 1982.


Office—College of Medicine, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4300. E-mail—[email protected].


Physician, educator. University of California, Los Angeles, assistant dean for student affairs, director of predoctoral education for family medicine; Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, professor of family medicine. Member of board of directors of Neighborhood Health Services, Tallahassee; served with the Migrant Farm Worker Clinic and the Panama Health Mission with FSU Cares.


American Academy of Family Physicians, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (founder of newsletter, Teaching Physician), Physicians for Social Responsibility, Group on Educational Affairs, Association of American Medical Colleges.


Humanism in Medical Education Award, Association of American Medical Colleges, 2000; teaching award, UCLA, 2000; recognized as an Outstanding Primary-Care Physician, Town and Country, 2000.


(With others) Skin Surgery: A Practical Guide, Mosby (St. Louis, MO), 1998.

(With Larry Payne) Yoga Rx: A Step-by-Step Program to Promote Health, Healing, and Wellness, Broadway Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Former editor of the column "Med.Pix" in the Western Journal of Medicine; author of column "Photo Rounds" in the Journal of Family Practice.


Richard P. Usatine is a doctor and professor of family medicine who has helped establish a number of student-run clinics for homeless families and adults and who has been honored as an outstanding mentor and teacher. His work with the homeless was featured in a documentary produced for the Discovery Health Channel.

Usatine's books include his first, Skin Surgery: A Practical Guide, called "a valuable addition to the dermatology literature for primary care physicians" by Adam O. Goldstein in the Journal of Family Practice. Usatine is the primary author, and contributors are dermatologists. Topics covering anesthetic techniques, biopsies, hemostasis, suturing techniques and materials, elliptical excisions, cryosurgical and electrosurgical techniques, incision and drainage of lesions, and intralesional injections are accompanied by before-and-after photographs and images showing procedures. Also included are chapters on treating premalignant and malignant lesions.

Aviva Zyskind wrote in American Family Physician that "although this book is very well written, the color photographs are perhaps the most compelling reason to buy it. Most of the skin lesions that one may want to biopsy or remove are shown, often along with step-by-step pictures of how to best manage that lesion. As pictures go, this book provides a good supplement to a dermatology atlas."

Usatine had practiced yoga while in college and recommended yoga and yoga breathing techniques to patients who were trying to reduce stress or quit smoking. But it was the doctor who in 1997 sought the help of yoga therapist Larry Payne when an automobile accident left him with considerable back pain. Usatine then enlisted Payne to partner with him in offering yoga therapy education to medical students at the University of California, Los Angeles, where Usatine directed the family medicine program. It was the first such course in the country.

They then outlined the course in their Yoga Rx: A Step-by-Step Program to Promote Health, Healing, and Wellness, in which they devote a chapter to each of the body's systems and offer core routines for basic wellness. Included are postures, meditation, and breathing techniques helpful in relieving many types of pain, as well as for specific health problems. They show how yoga can be used to treat ailments that range from the common cold, to menstrual cramps, to depression, to heart disease. Usatine and Payne also recommend other activities that work with the yoga, including walking, increased hours of sleep, and changes in diet. They are clear that yoga is not a substitute for medication or psychotherapy and note that yoga is a long-term process that requires a commitment to regular practice.

Booklist's Jane Tuma commented that the collaboration between doctor Usatine and therapist Payne "yields a safe and balanced approach to integrating yoga therapies with Western medicine."



American Family Physician, September 15, 1999, Aviva Zyskind, review of Skin Surgery: A Practical Guide, p. 1265.

Booklist, October 1, 2002, Jane Tuma, review of Yoga Rx: A Step-by-Step Program to Promote Health, Healing, and Wellness, p. 293.

Journal of Family Practice, January, 1999, Adam O. Goldstein, review of Skin Surgery, p. 69.


Gaiam, (May 8, 2003), Laurel Kallenbach, review of Yoga Rx.*

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