Meet Dr. Bernard
Integrating a clinical and academic background with a skillset in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Dr. Bernard stands at the intersection of personal mental health and professional well-being and is well positioned to address workplace wellness at your facility.
A Journey to Wellness
Bernard Wellness Initiative was born out of the emotional strain of working in medicine. Dr. Kari Bernard had been a physician assistant for four years when she transitioned from cardiology into emergency medicine. Within one year of working in the emergency room, Dr. Bernard developed the telltale signs of burnout.
Dread marked the beginning of every shift and emotional exhaustion colored every hour until the end of her day. Patients no longer inspired compassion or kindness, but instead impatience and resentment. In an effort to salvage her passion for healing, she made the difficult decision to leave the healthcare workforce after only 10 years in practice.
Dr. Bernard exchanged the emergency room for the classroom and joined the University of Washington MEDEX Northwest PA program's Alaska campus. Stepping into the role of educator was invigorating, and after only four years on faculty, Dr. Bernard was promoted to Anchorage site director. During this time, she explored the factors that had burned her out in the emergency room and integrated clinician wellness education into the MEDEX curriculum.
Ultimately Dr. Bernard expanded her offerings to a broader healthcare audience and completed doctoral training in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, with a focus on healthcare burnout. She also transitioned her clinical practice to psychiatry, a specialty more aligned with her personal values.