Dr. Herbert Ward received a Masters in neuropharmacology before attending medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina. He completed a combined residency training program in internal medicine and psychiatry from West Virginia University which lead to board certification in both specialties. His training in a med/psych clinical environment serves as a background for his current appointment as the Chief of Consultation Service for the Department of Psychiatry. Areas of special interest include diagnosis and treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders in the primary care setting. Dr Ward’s commitment to medical education has been recognized through his receipt of the NIMH Faculty Scholar Award early in his career and Faculty Teaching Awards from two different universities. Administrative experience at UF has included serving as the Medical Director for the Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Psychiatry Specialty Clinics. Dr Ward’s combined training in internal medicine and psychiatry, investment in clinical teaching and administrative experience make him uniquely qualified for this position.
Dr. Ward’s primary interest is in anxiety disorders and secondarily in mood disorders. He sees patients with treatment resistant/refractory anxiety disorders and serves as a tertiary referral source for this group of patients. Trained as an internist and psychiatrist, Dr. Ward routinely treats psychiatric illness in medically complicated/compromised patients. Additionally, the evaluation and treatment of obesity is a rich “med-psych” substrate that he has more recently focused on because of opportunities in our department
Dr. Ward’s research interests come out of a background in pharmacology and specialty training in anxiety disorders. He is interested in the neurobiology of anxiety and the development of new treatment strategies, including combination therapies for optimal synaptic benefit and reduction of adverse effects. Additionally, he is interested in improving recognition of anxiety disorders in primary care and testing a parallel model for delivery of medical and psychiatric services.
Dr. Ward is very interested in the application of formal clinical decision making to the field of psychiatry. Since the psychiatric interview is the “gold standard” for detecting disease, psychiatry has lagged behind other specialties in using Bayesian analysis to enrich our clinical impression and guide treatment. He also enjoys teaching residents how to integrate pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, i.e., how to establish a psycho-social gradient that favors a desired drug response. He has contributed to the medical school curriculum development by serving on the Interdisciplinary Generalist Clerkship Curriculum Committee and the Task Force on Vertical Integration of Neurobehavioral Sciences. Dr. Ward has received the departmental Teacher of the Year award and served on Departmental Graduate Education Committee and Resident Recruitment Committee.
Dr. Ward has served as the Medical Director for the department, Medical Director for the VA PTSD program, Director of Psychiatric Specialty Clinics, Co-director of the UF Weight Management Program, and Interim Director for our general adult clinic. In addition, he has chaired four faculty search committees, the Anxiety Disorders Program Development Committee, and the Weight Management Program Development Committee.
Dr. Ward has developed specialty clinics and approaches for the interdiscplinary care of the movement disorders patients. In addition he has recently published several peer reviewed papers and DBS and neuropsychiatry.