Dr. Bernard grew up in the rural town of Clewiston, Florida. She attended college at the University of Florida, majoring in sociology while completing her required pre-medical science courses. She was awarded the National Health Service Corps scholarship to attend the University of Miami where she graduated in 1999.
During her Family Medicine residency at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida, Dr. Bernard was voted Residency Association President by her peers. She also received the program's annual Academic award at her graduation in 2002.
Following residency, Dr. Bernard completed her National Health Service Corps service obligation in Immokalee, Florida at a Federally Qualified Health Center. While working in this community, she was a preceptor for medical students from both Nova Southeastern Osteopathic Medical School and the FSU School of Medicine.
Dr. Bernard continued to serve the community of Immokalee for an additional two years before transitioning to a hospital out-patient medical group, where she worked in private practice for more than five years. in 2016, Dr. Bernard opened Gulf Coast Direct Primary Care, a new and growing type of health clinic that provides high-quality primary care for a low monthly fee.
Dr. Bernard is the author of three books: "Patients at Risk: The Rise of the Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant in Healthcare," "How to Be a Rock Star Doctor" and "Physician Wellness: The Rock Star Doctor's Guide," co-written with psychologist Steven Cohen. She is a national speaker on physician wellness and practice management.
Dr. Bernard is very interested in encouraging primary care to improve the health of all Americans, and in improving physician wellness so that doctors can better care for patients. She is politically active within the Florida Medical Association and serves on the Physician Wellness task force. She served as the Doctor of the Day in the Florida House of Representatives in 2015 and 2019. She is the current Vice President of the Collier County Medical Society and a Board member of the CCMS Foundation, the organization's charitable arm.