Dr. Ward Houck, MD, FACS

Mark Akins, MD


College:  Davidson College

Medical School:  Medical University of South Carolina

Residency: Medical University of South Carolina

Fellowship:  Medical College of Virginia (Cardiothoracic)

Fellowship:  Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Minimally-Invasive Thoracic Surgery)

Certification:  American Board of Surgery (General and Thoracic Surgery)

Professional Organizations:  Fellow – American College of Surgeons, Society of Thoracic Surgery, Southern Thoracic Surgical Association

Dr. Houck is originally from Florence, South Carolina.  Growing up the son of a surgeon, he was exposed to hospitals and the practice of medicine at an early age.  As a child, he would accompany his father “on rounds” whenever he could and as a teenager, assisted him both in the office and the operating room.  Seemingly destined to be a surgeon, he asked his father “what is the most difficult field in surgery?”.  The reply was Cardiothoracic surgery.  With that goal in mind, Dr. Houck completed his undergraduate study in Pre-medicine at Davidson College, earning his Bachelor of Science.  He attended the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and  following graduation, remained there for his General Surgery Residency.  It was during these ten years in Charleston that he met and married his wife and began his family.  Following his residency, he moved his young family to Richmond, Virginia where he completed his Cardiothoracic Fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia.  Nearing the end of his fellowship, he heard that Dr. Robert McKenna at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles was offering a fellowship in the emerging field of Minimally-Invasive Thoracic Surgery.  Dr. Houck applied and was accepted in the position as the first fellow in the program.  At the conclusion of his fellowship, Dr. Houck was asked to remain with Dr. McKenna’s practice as an associate.

He remained in private practice in Los Angeles from 2003 – 2006, but always had it in mind that he wished to return home to the Southeast.  He was recruited back to a practice opportunity in Atlanta, Georgia in 2006.  After eight years in Atlanta, the opportunity to relocate to Murfreesboro arose.  The challenge of creating a new Thoracic surgery program as well as the wonderful community, made the decision an easy one for Dr. Houck.

Dr. Houck is board certified in both General Surgery and Thoracic Surgery.  He performs the entire breath of General Thoracic Surgery including benign and malignant diseases of the chest, lungs, and esophagus.  His expertise in minimally-invasive techniques translates into a greater than 95% rate of success in avoiding the need for the larger incisions of traditional thoracic surgery with the accompanying increased risk of complications and pain/debilitation.  Dr. Houck uses thoracoscopic, laparoscopic, and muscle-sparing incisions to achieve less pain, shortened hospital stays, and decreased costs, while maintaining quality outcomes.

Dr. Houck has been married for over twenty years and has been blessed with five children.  When he is not at the hospital, he can be found with his family.