Dr. Howard Mertz, MD

Gastroenterology  |  
Male  |  
Age 57
Insurances AcceptedSave
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.

4230 Harding Pike # 309W

Nashville, TN 37205

Contact Information
Dr. Howard Mertz, MD

Dr. Howard Mertz, MD

Accepted insurance

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee
  • Cigna
  • Coventry Health Care of Tennessee
  • First Health (Coventry Health Care)
  • Humana
  • MultiPlan
  • UnitedHealthCare

*Please verify this information when scheduling an appointment.

Learn about Dr. Mertz

Be confident in your decisions by checking out your provider's top areas of care, education, patient reviews and more. Learn about finding the right doctor for you

Top Care Areas


See how frequently Dr. Mertz performs your care needs compared to other doctors.

Endoscopy (Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestine)
very high
more than 99% of peers
Gastroenterology Procedures
very high
more than 99% of peers
Abdominal Disorders
very high
more than 99% of peers

Dr. Mertz's percentages are based on the rate of treatment compared to peers nationwide from insurance data. Learn more info about our data and this Top Care Areas component.

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Care Philosophy

This content was provided by Dr. Mertz "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."


Read More


  • Gastroenterology

Board Certifications

  • Gastroenterology
    Accredited by: American Board of Internal Medicine*
  • Internal Medicine
    Accredited by: American Board of Internal Medicine*

Conditions Treated

  • Abdominal Disorders
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Anal or Rectal Pain
  • Anemia
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Barrett's Esophagus
  • Benign Neoplasm of the Digestive System
  • Benign Tumor
  • Blood Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Celiac Disease
  • 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
  • Meckel's Diverticulum
  • Megacolon
  • 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


Read More


  • 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)

Background Check

0 Malpractice Claims

No malpractice history found for Tennessee.

0 Sanctions

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

0 Board Actions

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


  • John's Hopkins U
    Undergraduate School | Graduated 1982
  • Baylor University
    Medical School | Graduated 1986
  • Johns Hopkins University / School Of Medicine
    Internship Hospital | Completed 1987
  • Johns Hopkins University / School Of Medicine
    Residency Hospital | Completed 1989
  • University Of California Los Angeles
    Fellowship Hospital | Completed 1991

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Honors
  • Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications

Dr. Mertz has no media or publications listed.

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 profile.

Dr. Mertz's Reviews

Likelihood of recommending Dr. Mertz to family and friends
based on 33 total reviews (6 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
  • Explains condition(s) well
  • Answers Questions
  • Time well spent
Office & Staff Performance
  • Scheduling
  • Office environment
  • Staff friendliness
  • Average wait time
    16 to 30 minutes
Patient Comments (6)
Nashville, TN |
Dr. Mertz is a thorough, kind and caring doctor. He always takes the time to answer our questions and never makes us feel rushed. His office staff is great too, Stephanie is always kinds and helpful and always called us back in a timely manner..
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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Now Accepting New Patients
Dr. Mertz accepts 9 insurance carriers
  • Aetna
    Aetna HMO
    Choice Plus POS II
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
    Blue Card PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee
    Blue Network E
    Network S
  • Cigna
    Cigna HMO
    Cigna PPO
    Great West Healthcare-Cigna PPO
    Open Access Plus
  • Coventry Health Care of Tennessee
    Coventry Health Care of Tennessee PPO
  • First Health (Coventry Health Care)
    First Health (Coventry Health Care) PPO
  • Humana
    Choice Care PPO
  • MultiPlan
    MultiPlan PPO
    PHCS Network PPO
  • UnitedHealthCare
    Choice Plus POS
    Options PPO

*Please verify this information when scheduling an appointment.

Hospitals where Dr. Mertz has admitting privileges

Saint Thomas West Hospital
4220 Harding Road Po Box 380
Nashville, TN 37205
View Hospital Profile