Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS, FAAETS, NCBF, BCETS, BCBT

Kirsti A. Dyer, MD, MS, FAAETS, NCBF, BCETS, BCBT received her Medical Degree and a Master’s Degree from the University of California, Davis. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and surgical year at the University of California San Francisco – Fresno Program. Dr. Dyer has also completed the equivalent of a postgraduate Fellowship or Ph.D. in Life Changes studying stress management, loss, grief, bereavement, traumatic stress, and integrative therapies. Dr. Dyer is a Fellow of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, is Board Certified in Bereavement Trauma and Traumatic Stress and a Nationally Certified Bereavement Facilitator from the American Academy of Bereavement.

Rather than just focusing on the disease process, Dr. Dyer has always been interested in the impact that a disease has on the person and their family. Early in her training she realized that the medical profession could make more of a positive impact on a person’s well being by promoting health education and prevention. In 1999 she coined the term "proactive medicine" as one that "promotes exercise and healthy living, diet and a more stress-free lifestyle," as a way of defining Wellness. She has served on the International Advisory Board for the Physician Wellness Foundation and a three year term for the California Medical Association’s Committee on the Well Being of Physicians 1999-2001.

Her interest in life challenges combined with interests in web-education, self-help and encouraging the healing process following a loss culminated in creating Journey of Hearts,™ www.journeyofhearts.org. Since 1997 Dr. Dyer has been promoting well being through the website by educating people about the normal grief response, helping thousands worldwide to understand and cope with the grief following a loss. The focus of her new endeavor, the Violet Heart,™ VioletHeart.org, is on products that enhance comfort and encourage de-stressing while promoting Wellness.

Dr. Dyer used poetry as a way of expressing intense emotions experienced as part of the rigors of medical school and training. Many of her healing poems published on Journey of Hearts™ have been used as part of funeral, memorial and remembrance services, published as memorials in newspapers and yearbooks and sent as e-mail condolences. Her articles and poems written about loss, grief and other life changes have been cited in personal and thesis papers, used in speeches, reprinted in newsletters, pamphlets, websites, used at hospice, medical student and dispute resolution (legal) conferences, and in loss & grief, death & dying and medical informatics courses.

Dr. Dyer’s desire to educate has driven her to develop conference presentations and lectures to students, colleagues and other healthcare professionals. She has presented scientific papers about her experiences with Journey of Hearts™ at several U.S. and international conferences in London, England, Heidelberg, Germany and Victoria, Canada. She has lectured for Kaiser Permanente, The American Institute of Medical Education, U.C. Berkeley Extension, the California Hospice Foundation, Tuolumne County Medical Society, the University of Pittsburgh’s Supercourse, the California Maritime Academy and the American Medical Student Association. She is currently developing online CME/CEU courses on Grief and Loss for ArcMesa and NICU Solutions. An avid writer Dr. Dyer had published numerous articles on life changes in journals, on the Internet and on Journey of Hearts.™

Since having her second daughter in March 2002, she has been on hiatus from practicing clinical medicine to be the full-time caregiver for two young children. Dr. Dyer continues to write, lecture and maintain Journey of Hearts.™ Her new undertaking The Violet Heart, scheduled to debut in September, is a collection of gifts and resources that provide unique and affordable "Moments to calm the mind, restore the spirit & heal the heart."