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Steve Buie, MD Steve Buie, MD
Chair, Department of Psychiatry

MAHEC Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness map
125 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 398-3601

Dr. Buie is program chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Wellness. He treats adults with all psychiatric conditions with particular interests in bipolar disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders. He is trained in transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a treatment for severe depression. Dr. Buie attended the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill as an undergraduate on a Morehead Scholarship. He obtained his medical education at the University of the North Carolina School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at a Columbia University training hospital in New York and a psychiatry residency at Cornell Medical College, also in New York. Dr. Buie is an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the UNC School of Medicine. He is a past president of the North Carolina Psychiatric Association, is president of the North Carolina Psychiatric Foundation, and is a member of the American College of Psychiatrists.

In his free time, Dr. Buie enjoys hiking the beautiful trails of the Blue Ridge mountains, making wine and working in his permaculture garden.


Nick Ladd, DO Nick Ladd, DO
Faculty, Psychiatry Residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship

MAHEC Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness map
125 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 398-3601

Dr. Ladd is a native of Western North Carolina who completed his education throughout this region. He majored in Environmental Studies and Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Then, he attended medical school at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine because of its focus on serving rural Appalachia. In wishing to stay close to the community he wanted to serve, he completed his general psychiatry residency and child and adolescent fellowship at Wake Forest Baptist Health where he served as a Chief Fellow.

Since 2018, he has worked at MAHEC helping to grow the residency class size, starting satellite clinics, initiating an international psychiatry experience for residents/fellows, developing pediatric Collaborative Care, and helping to start the CAP fellowship. Clinically, he works as an outpatient psychiatrist providing direct patient care at MAHEC and a regional pediatric office. He also provides Collaborative Care consultation for regional pediatric offices.

Dr. Ladd is excited about helping to meet the needs of underserved children and families across Western North Carolina by training the next generation of compassionate psychiatric providers who will be equipped to serve community members throughout their life span.


John Nicholls, MD, JD John Nicholls, MD, JD
Medical Director, Department of Psychiatry

MAHEC Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness map
125 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 398-3601

Dr. Nicholls is a general and child/adolescent psychiatrist. Prior to attending UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, he was an active lawyer, working for a federal judge and then for large firms in North Carolina and Georgia. After medical school, he completed his residency in general psychiatry and his fellowship in child/adolescent psychiatry at UNC Hospitals where he remained on faculty as Medical Director for its Child/Adolescent inpatient units. Dr. Nicholls and his family moved to Asheville in 2012 and has worked in a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and managed care settings. He is a native of Western North Carolina and when he is not working, he enjoys time with family, various sports, and all kinds of music.


Susan Whitley, MD Susan Whitley, MD
Faculty Psychiatrist

MAHEC Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness map
125 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
phone (828) 398-3601

Susan Whitley, MD, was raised in New York City, but has deep roots in Western North Carolina. She is passionate about partnering with individuals to set goals toward improving their total health—including mental health, substance use, and physical health challenges.

Dr. Whitley is a graduate of the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, followed by a combined Residency in Family Medicine and Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York, NY. Throughout her training, she remained intrigued by the interplay between physical and mental health and the role of substance use. She decided to pursue subspecialty training in Addiction Psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY, to further hone her expertise in the management of addictions.

Dr. Whitley is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Family Medicine with added subspecialty certification in Addiction Psychiatry. She has over 20 years of experience including patient care, program administration, and the teaching of students and residents. She is an expert in the treatment of opioid use disorder, including multiple publications on this topic. Dr. Whitley has spent her career focusing on access to care for underserved populations with complex healthcare needs and is excited to join the MAHEC team.

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