Dr. Howard Mertz, MD

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Gastroenterology | Male

Dr. Howard Mertz, MD

Dr. Mertz graduated from Johns Hopkins and Baylor College of Medicine with honors. He was awarded the Caplowitz Prize at Baylor for outstanding student in internal medicine, and was a member of the medical honor society, AOA. He practiced for 10 years at Vanderbilt and has been at Saint Thomas West hospital since 2003. He is an education leader in Tennessee and former president of the Tennessee Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology. His top priorities are quality of care, listening to his patients, and solving their problems by whatever means.

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Dr. Mertz's Care Philosophy

I have a patient focused approach that begins with detailed discussion regarding symptoms. I am regarded by my peers as an excellent diagnostician, and frequently perform second opinion work. I have been named every year as one of Nashville's top doctors by Nashville Lifestyle magazine and most recently by US News and World Report. I am a leader in the community with regards to education where I coordinate an annual gastroenterology and colorectal surgery course at Saint Thomas hospital. I am well published, including a review article in the New England Journal of Medicine regarding the management of irritable bowel syndrome. I am a leader in new techniques including endoscopic mucosa resection, which can remove flat polyps, tumors and even superficial cancers, preventing the need for invasive surgery. I am the Tennessee leader in endoscopic ultrasound, with the largest experience (over 15,000 procedures), and a referral base throughout Tennessee and surrounding states. Most of all I am a caring person and good listener.

Dr. Mertz's Experience

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Background Check

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Education

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Awards & Recognition

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Languages Spoken

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Memberships & Professional Affiliations

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    Visiting Dr. Mertz

    Dr. Mertz accepts 9 insurance carriers

    Dr. Mertz is now accepting new patients

    Affiliated Hospitals

    Hospital Quality
    Check out the quality of care at the 1 hospitals where Dr. Mertz has admitting privileges.

    Dr. Mertz's Reviews

    Likelihood of recommending Dr. Mertz to family and friends
    3.5
    based on 33 total reviews (5 with comments)
    Dr. Mertz Says:

    I continue to provide comprehensive gastroenterology care to some of the sickest and most challenging patients in the community and the region.  The people I care for have often already been seen by other gastroenterologists and depend on me to manage or solve more complex problems.

    I appreciate any feedback from patients so the patient experience in my practice can be improved.

    Dr. Mertz's Performance
    • Trustworthiness
      VERY GOOD
    • Explains condition(s) well
      VERY GOOD
    • Answers Questions
      VERY GOOD
    • Time well spent
      VERY GOOD
    Office & Staff Performance
    • Scheduling
      VERY GOOD
    • Office environment
      VERY GOOD
    • Staff friendliness
      VERY GOOD
    • Average wait time
      16 to 30 minutes
    Patient Comments (5)
    in Franklin, TN |
    My husband passed of pancreatic cancer. Originally diagnosed with small pseudocyst in tip of pancreas and told it was no big deal. After getting paperwork from hospital saying possible adenocarcinoma, we asked for CT as Mayo Clinic said scan every month for growth and to remove if growing. It had grown slightly, but assured it was just a different angle. Next months CT had been canceled when we arrived. Two more scans showed growth. Surgery revealed cancer and given 3 mos to live! Devastated.
    Savannah, TN |
    Mertz misdiagnosed my daughter. He told her she was just constipated and should take laxatives and an enema. The next day, we took her to the ER because she was in such pain. After a scan, a colon blockage was found. Mertz was so certain the blockage was Crohn's disease and placed a stent into the mass. The stent perforated her colon. The mass was NOT Crohn's but was CANCER! The perforation caused her to become septic, almost die, and cancer cells released into her abdomen! DO NOT GO TO MERTZ!!!
    in Nashville, TN |
    I just arrived home after having my second procedure with Dr. Mertz. Dr. Mertz was recommended by my primary care provider so I switched to Mertz about 4 1/2 years ago. I did research on Mertz before I went the first time, and he is literally one of the best in his field. I had no problem getting additional information after the first procedure and had my second with him this morning. Following my procedure, he met with my wife and I and took the time to explain his findings.
    in Nashville, TN |
    Wish I could leave 0 stars. This was a horrible experience. Dr. Mertz was condescending and just plain rude. Not to mention I waited 1 hour and 40 minutes after my scheduled appointment time to see Dr. Mertz. He barely said more than 5 words to me...explained nothing, didn't answer my questions..seemed in a hurry to get home for the day. If you want healers for gastrointestinal issues, I left crying and feeling defeated-- like I will never have a solution answer to my problem.
    Gallatin, TN |
    I found Dr. Howard Mertz to be in a hurry, to move on to his next patient or whatever his agenda was. I found him to be very condescending. He failed to explain to me what my test results were. He gave me two prescriptions one of which I researched on the internet and found the drug was used for seizures and neuropathy of which I had neither. He also gave me a prescription for pain pills and sent me on my way. No, I would not recommend this doctor.
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    Dr. Mertz says...

    Dr. Mertz graduated from Johns Hopkins and Baylor College of Medicine with honors.  He was awarded the Caplowitz Prize at Baylor for outstanding student in internal medicine, and was a member of the medical honor society, AOA.  He practiced for 10 years at Vanderbilt and has been at Saint Thomas West hospital since 2003.  He is an education leader in Tennessee and former president of the Tennessee Society for Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  His top priorities are quality of care, listening to his patients, and solving their problems by whatever means.

    Dr. Mertz's Care Philosophy

    I have a patient focused approach that begins with detailed discussion regarding symptoms. I am regarded by my peers as an excellent diagnostician, and frequently perform second opinion work.  I have been named every year as one of Nashville's top doctors by Nashville Lifestyle magazine and most recently by US News and World Report. I am a leader in the community with regards to education where I coordinate an annual gastroenterology and colorectal surgery course at Saint Thomas hospital.  I am well published, including a review article in the New England Journal of Medicine regarding the management of irritable bowel syndrome.   I am a leader in new techniques including endoscopic mucosa resection, which can remove flat polyps, tumors and even superficial cancers, preventing the need for invasive surgery.  I am the Tennessee leader in endoscopic ultrasound, with the largest experience (over 15,000 procedures), and a referral base throughout Tennessee and surrounding states.  Most of all I am a caring person and good listener.

    Dr. Mertz says...

    I have special expertise in inflammatory bowel disease.  I trained with Dr Steph Targan at UCLA, a leading IBD expert and research.

    I am a leader in treatment of irritable bowel sydnrome, with extensive publications in this area.

    I am a leader in endoscopic techniques, especially endoscopic mucosal resection, where I have performed over 500 resections with excellent results.  Many other gastroenterologists send cases to me with difficult to remove polyps or tumors for this special technique that can prevent surgery.

    I am a leader in endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), a technique for diagnosing and staging tumors of the pancreas, esophagus, stomach, and rectum.  I have special training in this technique, and was the first in Tennessee to perform EUS.  My experience is the largest in the state and continues to be a high volume service at Saint Thomas West Hospital.

    Dr. Mertz says...

    I continue to provide comprehensive gastroenterology care to some of the sickest and most challenging patients in the community and the region.  The people I care for have often already been seen by other gastroenterologists and depend on me to manage or solve more complex problems.

    I appreciate any feedback from patients so the patient experience in my practice can be improved.

    Dr. Mertz's experience matches your search based on the following criteria:

    •  Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
    •  Specializes in Gastroenterology
    •  Board certified in Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine
    •  No malpractice claims found
    •  No sanctions found
    •  No board actions found

    Awards & Recognition

    • Awards & Honors
      • Healthgrades Honor Roll
      What is a recognized doctor
    • Media & Publications

      Dr. Mertz has no media or publications listed.

    Background Check

    • 0
      Malpractice Claims

      No malpractice history found for Tennessee.

      What is medical malpractice
    • 0
      Sanctions

      No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

      What is a sanction or disciplinary action
    • 0
      Board Actions

      No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

      What are board actions

    Board Certifications

    Why It Matters: Dr. Mertz's Board Certifications

    Board certification should be one of your top considerations when choosing a doctor. Board certification is an official recognition given to doctors who have met specific requirements set by national medical specialty boards in the... More

    • Gastroenterology
    • Internal Medicine

    Conditions Treated

    • Abdominal Disorders
    • Abdominal Pain
    • Abscess
    • Anal or Rectal Pain
    • Anemia
    • Autoimmune Diseases
    • Barrett's Esophagus
    • Benign Neoplasm of the Digestive System
    • Benign Tumor
    • Blood Disorders
    • Cancer
    • Cholecystitis and Gallstones
    • Cirrhosis
    • Colorectal Cancer
    • Constipation
    • Crohn's Disease
    • Dehydration
    • Diaphragmatic and-or Hiatal Hernia
    • Diarrhea
    • Diverticulitis, Intestinal
    • Diverticulosis, Intestinal
    • Duodenal Ulcer
    • Duodenitis
    • Dysentery
    • Dysphagia
    • Enteritis
    • Esophageal Achalasia and Cardiospasm
    • Esophageal Cancer
    • Esophageal Diseases
    • Esophageal Ulcer
    • Esophageal Varices
    • Esophagitis
    • Gallstones
    • Gas-Bloat Syndrome
    • Gastric Ulcer
    • Gastritis
    • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
    • Gastrointestinal Bleeding
    • Gastrointestinal Diseases
    • Gastrointestinal Malabsorption
    • Gastrojejunal Ulcer
    • Gastroparesis
    • Heartburn
    • Hemochromatosis
    • Hemorrhoids
    • Hepatitis B - Immune Response
    • Hepatitis C
    • Hernia
    • Ileus
    • Indigestion
    • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
    • Intestinal Obstruction
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • Liver Damage from Alcohol
    • Malnutrition
    • Nausea
    • Neoplasm of Gastrointestinal Tract
    • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
    • Noninfectious Gastroenteritis and Colitis
    • Pancreatitis
    • Peptic Ulcer
    • Pyloric Stenosis
    • Reflux Esophagitis
    • Small Intestine Cancer
    • Stomach Cancer
    • Stomach Diseases
    • Stomach and Small Intestine Cancer
    • Ulcer
    • Ulcerative Colitis
    • Unexplained Weight Loss
    • Vascular Insufficiency of Intestines
    • Viral Enteritis
    • Viral Hepatitis
    • Viral Infection
    • Vomiting Disorders

    Education

    • Medical School
      Baylor University

      Graduated in 1986

    • Internship Hospital
      Johns Hopkins University / School of Medicine

      Completed in 1987

    • Residency Hospital
      Johns Hopkins University / School of Medicine

      Completed in 1989

    • Fellowship Hospital
      University Of California Los Angeles

      Completed in 1991

    • Undergraduate School
      John's Hopkins U

      Graduated in 1982

    Languages Spoken

    • English
    • Spanish

    Memberships &
    Professional Affiliations

    Dr. Mertz does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Mertz and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your free profile.

    Specialties

    • Gastroenterology

    Procedures Performed

    • Bile Duct Procedure
    • Colonoscopy With Polypectomy
    • Colonoscopy, Proctosigmoidoscopy, and Sigmoidoscopy
    • Endoscopic Mucosal Resection
    • Endoscopic Ultrasound
    • Endoscopy (Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestine)
    • Fecal Impaction Removal
    • Gastroenterology Procedures
    • Liver Biopsy
    • Manometry
    • Percutaneous Edoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG)