Helping others find the gift of new life

Posted on July 11, 2012 by Inception Fertility

Dr. Herbert was featured in the University of Florida College of Medicine's article titled, "Big Ideas: UF almni are changing health care for the better." The below article was written by Melanie Stawicki Azam and can be viewed as well as other featured alumnis here.

Carl M. Herbert III, MD, has helped bring new life to families around the globe.

An internationally known fertility specialist and president of the Pacific Fertility Center in San Francisco, Herbert has assisted patients from as far away as Japan become parents through invitro fertilization and other infertility treatments.

The 1978 UF College of Medicine graduate has been performing IVF longer than any other physician in the San Francisco Bay area. Before founding his own clinic, he helped develop one of the first assisted reproductive technology programs in the U.S. at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

A fourth-generation physician, he is the son of Gainesville obstetrician and gynecologist Carl Herbert Jr., MD, who was known for delivering one of the first sets of surviving quadruplets in Gainesville in the 1950s.

Herbert attended boarding school in New Jersey as a teen and Rutgers University for college. His first visit to San Francisco was when he hitchhiked to the city in the summer of 1968.

“I pumped gas at a Shell Station and it’s still there,” Herbert said with a laugh. “The summer of love in San Francisco was in ’67—but the summer of ’68 was slightly more subdued.”

He returned to Gainesville for a master’s degree in environmental engineering sciences and medical school at UF.

“I really loved going to school there,” Herbert said. “The stimulating experience of learning and my medical education provided me with fond memories and a solid foundation upon which to build.”

Herbert completed his OB/GYN residency and a reproductive endocrinology fellowship at Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, he was on the ground floor of the pioneering work in the field of reproductive endocrinology and infertility.

He said he was incredibly lucky to be a part of Vanderbilt’s IVF program in those early difficult and formative years in the area of IVF, and he contributed to numerous articles, as those in the field explored ways to improve success rates.

“The work was exciting and challenging,” he said. “It was awe-inspiring.”

Herbert also worked with the first laser laparoscope and wrote several early articles on endoscopic surgery, including one of the very first articles published on the treatment of tubal disease via laser laparoscopy.

After serving as director of Vanderbilt’s reproductive endocrinology/infertility division, Herbert decided in 1990 that he was ready for a change. He served as medical director for two different fertility clinics in San Francisco before founding his own business.

Herbert and four other partners purchased Pacific Fertility Centers in 1999, which now includes six physicians. The clinic treats a diversity of families and offers a variety of male and female infertility treatments, including IVF, egg donation and embryo freezing.

“Because we deal with the very beginnings of life, we are ever mindful of medical ethics as we care for patients.”
Carl M. Herbert III, MD ’78

Past president of the Society For Humanism in Medicine, Herbert continues to be involved with reproductive research and medical ethics.

He believes the next frontier in the reproductive field will involve genetics. New discoveries could free unborn children of certain diseases but may also raise new ethical issues to consider.

“Because we deal with the very beginnings of life, we are ever mindful of medical ethics as we care for patients.”

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