Barnard grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. He received his medical training at George Washington University School of Medicine in psychiatry, where he began to explore vegan diets. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a lifetime member of the American Medical Association.
Barnard serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He founded the Barnard Medical Center in 2015 as part of PCRM, and it opened in 2016 with him as president; the center provides primary care and emphasizes diet and preventative medicine.
Barnard is a non-practicing psychiatrist. He plays cello, guitar, and keyboards, and has been in bands Pop Maru, Verdun, and Carbonworks.
In 2011, Barnard was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame of the North American Vegetarian Society during its summer conference, where he has occasionally spoken.
Barnard ND, Bush AI, Ceccarelli A, de Jager CA, Erickson KI, Fraser G, Kesler S, Levin SM, Lucey B, Morris MC, Squitti R. "Dietary and lifestyle guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease." Neurobiol Aging. 2014;35 Suppl 2:S74-8.
Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJ, Turner-McGrievy G, Gloede L, Green A, Ferdowsian H. "A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled, 74-week clinical trial." Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89(suppl):1588S-96S.
Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJ, Turner-McGrievy G, Gloede L, Jaster B, Seidl K, Green AA, Talpers S. "A low-fat, vegan diet improves glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in a randomized clinical trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes." Diabetes Care 2006;29:1777-1783.
Barnard ND. The Power of Your Plate (1990: Book Publishing Co., Summertown, TN) ISBN157067003X
Barnard ND. A Physician's Slimming Guide (1992: Book Publishing Co., Summertown, TN) ISBN0913990914
Barnard ND. Food for Life (1993: Harmony/Random House, New York, NY) ISBN0517882019
Barnard ND. Eat Right, Live Longer (1995: Harmony/Random House, New York, NY) ISBN0517799502
Barnard ND. Foods that Cause You to Lose Weight (1992: The Magni Group, McKinney, TX) ISBN0062570366 Barnard ND. Foods that Cause You to Lose Weight II (1996: The Magni Group, McKinney, TX) ISBN188233048X
Barnard ND (ed.) The Best in the World, volume I (1998), volume II (2000), volume III (2010), and volume IV (2014), (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, DC). ISBN1935535013
Barnard ND. Foods That Fight Pain (1998: Harmony/Random House, New York, NY) ISBN0609600982
Barnard ND. Turn off the Fat Genes (2001: Harmony/Random House, New York, NY) ISBN0609809040
Barnard ND. Breaking the Food Seduction (2003: St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY) ISBN0312314949
Barnard ND. Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes. (2007, revised edition 2018: Rodale, Emmaus, PA) ISBN1594868107
Barnard ND, Weissinger R, Jaster BJ, Kahan S, Smyth C. A Nutrition Guide for Clinicians. 1st edition 2007 ISBN0966408152; 2nd edition 2009 ISBN0966408179; 3rd edition 2018 (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, DC)
Barnard ND and Reilly J. The Cancer Survivor's Guide (2008: Healthy Living Publications, Summertown, TN) ISBN1570672253
Barnard ND and Webb R. The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook (2010: Da Capo, New York). ISBN0738213586
Barnard ND. 21-Day Weight-Loss Kickstart (2011: Grand Central, New York). ISBN0446583820
Barnard ND. Power Foods for the Brain (2013: Grand Central, New York). ISBN1455512206
Barnard ND. The Cheese Trap (2017: Grand Central, New York). ISBN1455594687
Barnard ND. Dr. Neal Barnard's Cookbook for Reversing Diabetes (2018: Rodale, Emmaus, PA).ISBN1623369290
^"About the Barnard Medical Center". The Physicians Committee. Retrieved 22 August 2017. The Physicians Committee has opened the Barnard Medical Center as a means of providing state-of-the-art care and exploring innovative ways to help patients regain and protect their health.