Dr. Hirst is a board-certified psychiatrist. As part of Patient & Family Support Services at Moores Cancer Center, he treats people who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, insomnia or other psychiatric symptoms that are either a result of the cancer experience or are interfering with cancer treatment. He can provide psychiatric assessments, treatment and medication management.
Dr. Hirst is also part of UC San Diego’s interdisciplinary palliative care team. He focuses on improving the quality of life of patients with cancer and other complex illnesses by providing patients and families with relief from psychiatric, psychological, social, spiritual or other types of distress.
He was named a “Top Doc" in San Diego Magazine’s “Physicians of Exceptional Excellence" annual survey performed in collaboration with the San Diego County Medical Society for four years in a row and was part of the innovative palliative care psychiatry program at San Diego Hospice that received the 2009 Gold Achievement Award from the American Psychiatric Association’s Institute for Psychiatric Services.
Dr. Hirst serves as a peer reviewer for multiple journals including the Journal of Palliative Care, The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and the Journal of Palliative Medicine. He has also been published in various publications, including the Journal of Palliative Medicine, Psychiatric Times and the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, and has co-authored several book chapters related to psychiatry and medical illness.
Before joining UC San Diego Health System in 2013, Dr. Hirst was the assistant director of the clinical and educational psychiatry programs at San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Medicine. He has also served as a psychiatric consultant for San Diego Unified School District.
Dr. Hirst is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He completed his residency and fellowship training at UC San Diego, and received his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He is board certified in psychiatry with subspecialty eligibility in child and adolescent psychiatry.