A native Californian, Dr. Hirst grew up in the Bay Area before attending Stanford University for her dual undergraduate degree. She experienced two East Coast winters while teaching high school science outside of Boston, then returned West to attend medical school at UC San Diego, where she earned honors for leadership, academic accomplishment and patient care. After graduation, Dr. Hirst completed a dual residency in Family Medicine and Psychiatry at UC San Diego — and founded the UCSD Maternal Mental Health Clinic during her third year of training.
Dr. Hirst soon became a regional expert in the field of Reproductive Psychiatry, caring for women with anxiety, mood disorders and psychosis during pregnancy and the postpartum period. While serving on faculty in three departments at UCSD School of Medicine, Dr. Hirst delivered local and international lectures, wrote a teaching curriculum, published articles, supervised trainees and developed the first Maternal Mental Health Intensive Outpatient Program in the Southwest United States.
Dr. Hirst developed an opioid addiction following the births of her daughters via C-section in 2008 and 2011, and left academic medicine to seek treatment in late 2013. Before returning to work in late 2015, Dr. Hirst developed a personal mindfulness meditation practice, even completing teacher training. Today she is proud to incorporate her strong knowledge of psychological theory with mindfulness meditation practice in her work with patients.
Dr. Hirst is board-certified in Family Medicine and Psychiatry, and is able to provide a unique level of care that encompasses the whole patient as a result of this dual training and expertise.
Dr. Hirst balances her rewarding work with personal time devoted to recovery, family and friends. She and her family are avid explorers of National Parks, and she is an enthusiastic indoor cyclist and (slow but steady) runner.