Bernhoff Allen Dahl, M.D.

Bernhoff Allen Dahl, M.D.
Bernhoff Allen Dahl, M.D.

Inspiration, Motivation, Overcoming Adversity, Survivor, Strategic Planning

Travels From: Winterport, ME
Fee Range: $5000 – $25,000


Bernie Dahl, M.D. shares wisdom gained from 25 years “in-the-trenches” of successful group medical practice, business ventures, and consulting.

Bernie Dahl, M.D., a native of New Jersey, earned degrees in Chemistry and Bible from Wheaton College in Illinois, and an MD from Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Dahl completed his Internship and Residency in Pathology at the University of Vermont, and went on to serve as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta.

Immediately following his term as an EIS officer, Dr. Dahl was named Chief of Pathology at Eastern Maine Medical Center. During his career of 25 years, he served as a lecturer, consultant, board member of several professional societies, President of The American Pathology Foundation, and co-founder of a wide range of successful ventures both inside and outside of Medicine.

In 1995, Dr.Dahl took an early retirement to lecture, write, and consult full time. He has focused on organizational design and dynamics, leadership issues and skills, and valuesdriven strategic planning. He offers keynotes and seminars on leadership issues such as

Suddenly You Are the Leader…Now What?

Dr. Dahl has written extensively on his subjects of interest, including Optimize Your Life! which merges synergistically personal and organizational strategic planning. The book has become an international bestseller, with licensed editions printed in Korea, Japan, Indian subcontinent (Tata McGraw-Hill), Mainland China, and a worldwide Spanish edition by Random House, the world’s largest publisher.

Dr. Dahl offers keynotes and workshops adapted for a wide range of audiences based on concepts to “Optimize Your Personal, Business, Professional and Organization Lives”, entitled

Take Charge of Your Life…or Someone Else Will.

In his spare time, Dr. Dahl has a passion for mountain climbing. He has climbed such peaks as Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mt. Elbrus in Russia, Popo and Ixta in Mexico, and Aconcagua in Argentina (the highest mountain outside of Asia).

But it was right here in the States that he had his most rousing experience, when he had a near-death experience on Mt. Washington. The story of his ordeal and rescue was recently featured on The Learning      Channel, in a series called StormForce. His signature keynote is:

Overcoming Adversity – Lessons for Living from a Mt. Washington Misadventure.

After years of monitoring for prostate cancer, in the Fall of 2004 a firm diagnosis was made by biopsy. Dr. Dahl recently completed an aggressive curse of androgen depravation therapy, radical prostatectomy, chemotherapy, and external beam radiation therapy. As a pathologist he had seen the worst cases, the failures, so he opted for a complete therapeutic regimen. His treatment is over, he has no detectable PSA, and the prognosis is excellent.

He shares his story of a physician as a patient with a focus on:

The Assertive Patient: Taking Charge of Your Healthcare

Dr. Dahl recently returned to the speaking circuit after completing obligations on his current books and two works-in-progress. Since 1975 Dr. has produced over 3500 educational programs for a wide range of audiences nationwide, as well as on an international basis.


  • 1956-60 B.S. in Professional Chemistry, minor in Bible; Wheaton (Ill) College
  • 1964 ICMRT/LSU, San Jose, Costa Rica (Feb-March)
  • 1960-64 M.D. from Cornell University Medical College
  • 1965 Rotating Internship, University of Vermont Hospitals
  • 1965-69 Anatomic & Clinical Pathology Residency, University of Vermont

Military Service:

  • 1969-71 Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia

Board Certification:

  • 1969 Anatomic and Clinical Pathology; American Board of Pathology

Professional Positions:

  • 1971-83 Chief, Department of Pathology, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor, Maine
  • 1971-95 Dahl-Chase Pathology Associates, Bangor, Maine, co-founder, President, and Managing Partner of a 12-pathologist group providing a full range of anatomic and clinical pathology services to 16 hospitals and 3 independent laboratories in Maine. Services included laboratory design and management, formal education programs for medical technologists and physicians (AMA-approved program starting 1976), and co-operative networking/group purchasing among laboratories.
  • 1982-95 UniShip, Inc., co-founder and President of a courier service with a focus on health care institutions in Maine. Also included development and management of formal buying groups for laboratory supplies.
  • 1983-94 Cellular Technology, Inc. (CellTech), co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of a regional histology/cytology network laboratory serving 15 hospitals in Maine. CellTech was a joint venture of St. Joseph Healthcare and DCPA.
  • 1984-95 Medical Laboratories, Inc., co-founder and President of an “independent lease arrangement” type laboratory service inside a hospital in Sanford, Maine.
  • 1985-95 MedLab 260, co-founder and Medical Director for a multi-specialty medical group independent laboratory in Portland, Maine.
  • 1986-95 Physicians’ Support Services, Inc., co-founder and President of a sales/service, continuing education and consulting organization serving clinic and physician office laboratories in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
  • 1987-95 Institute for Cellular Research, Inc., co-founder and President of a non- profit research and service organization focused initially on flow cytometry. In 1993 merged two area cytology services into ICR. In 1994 added histology services.
  • 1995 PathQuest Inc., founder and President.
  • 2000-2002 President, American Pathology Foundation

Business Activities/Positions

  • 1964-Present The WoodsPeople. Founder of a research and development venture that focuses on wood-based, panelized, deck and shelter systems for small buildings.
  • 1976-Present Freedom Park for Commerce and Industry, Hermon, Maine. Developer of a private commercial/industrial park which is now the home of 74 businesses in 55 buildings.
  • 1978-Present Overhead Door Co., Inc. Co-founder and co-owner of the distributorship.
  • 1979-Present The Freedom Group. Founder and owner of a real-estate development venture which focuses on real estate development, construction support services, and industrial, commercial, and professional rental properties.
  • 1989-1991 River Edge at Winterport. Co-developer of a residential development on the Penobscot River.
  • 1994-Present Oak Ridge Business Park. Developer and owner of a professional business park near the Bangor Mall in Bangor, Maine.


Dr. Dahl has operated as keynote speaker and public speaker for many organizations. Some of them are:

  • American Association of Healthcare Consultants
  • American College of Physician Executives
  • American Management Association
  • American Medical Association
  • American Pathology Foundation- Board of Directors 1987-1993/1997 to present, currently President
  • American Society of Clinical Pathologists
  • Clinical Laboratory Management Association
  • College of American Pathologists
  • International Society for Mountain Medicine
  • Medical Group Management Association
  • Wilderness Medical Society


1 hour with Q&A

Dr. Dahl’s keynote focuses on the Mt. Washington experience and rescue and the three admonitions:

  • Be prepared to die!
  • Have a plan to live!
  • Do it now!

Focused Presentation

20-30 minutes with Q&A

The public speaker presentation is a focused version of the keynote speaker presentation, suitable for:

  • Luncheon meetings
  • Graduation addresses
  • Service clubs

Other Presentations

During his career in healthcare for almost three decades, Dr. Dahl has presented keynotes, seminars, and workshops to business and professional associations nationwide.


Each of these presentations may be adapted to specific audiences re:

  • Age of audience: From youth to “old age”
  • Specific interests: such as:
    • Hiking/mountaineering Survival
      • Hypothermia
      • Frost injuries
      • High altitude medicine
    • Religious groups
    • Education
    • Near-death experiences
  • Professional Associations
  • Business Organizations


The workshop includes the keynote plus choice of interactive foci:

  • Preparing for Death
    • Creating your Big List database
    • Organizing your treasures
    • Cleaning up your trash
  • Developing your personal Strategic Plan
    • Creating personal Mission and Vision Statements
    • Exploring your Values and creating a Values Statement
    • Understanding ancient “survivability” vs. modern “civility”
    • Applying the power of Love and Forgiveness
    • Enjoying the awesome role of Self-forgiveness
    • Addressing risk management
    • Making wise choices
  • Implementing your Life’s Plan Being your own change agent


“Dr. Dahl skillfully takes you on his perilous mountain trek and rescue… and then guides you into your own Journey Into the Self.”
-Joan Settin,

“Although Death was the springboard and catalyst, your keynote presentation was a truly wonderful celebration of Life.”
-Andrea Illingworth,
Flow Cytometrist

“A near-tragedy presented with great insight and humor with a take-home message for everyone!”
-Dr. William Flahive,
College President

“Your presentation added new insights and meaning to the concept of ‘to know how to live, one must first learn how to die.'”
-David Fitzpatrick,

Tri-State Bankers Association – at the Mt. Washington Hotel

Of all my speaking engagements in 2004, the most inspiring and satisfying was my return to the Mt. Washington Hotel to share my keynote with the Tri-State Bankers Association. The audience was superb!

  • “It was a powerful story presented with candor and heartfelt emotion.”
    -James Delamater,
    Northeast Bank
  • “Wonderful presentation!”
    -Christopher D’Elia,
    Vermont Bankers Association
  • “Excellent … great story … great presentation style.”
    -Joseph Petroski,
    Maine Bankers Association
  • “Incredible … flowed very well … great program.”
    -Steven Dimick,
    Vermont Bankers Association
  • “Excellent … very intriguing.”
    -Ann Lally,
    New Hampshire Bankers Association

Massachusetts Society for Respiratory Care, October 2004

  • “Eye-opening.”
    Stacey Suliveras
  • “Excellent … quality speaker.”
  • “Taught me some good lessons for life; taught me acceptance.”
    -Roselyne Theodore
  • “Wonderful! Great! God is there for you!”
    -Bill Benning
  • “Captivating!”
  • “Excellent … motivational and inspirational.”
    -Curt Hiller
  • “Personal, inspiring.”
    -Lorraine Hess
  • “Excellent, quite profound… very fulfilling. It was wonderful.”

Past Testimonials

  • “Wonderful and insightful, as well as moving emotionally”
    -Michelle Brinck
  • “Excellent—fascinating! Wonderful link of concrete experience to abstract thinking and spiritual values.”
  • “The imagery was excellent. I felt like I was on the mountain with him.”
    -Dan Quiterio
  • “Down to earth. Anybody could relate to your story. Thank you.”
    -Tina Beede
  • “Very engaging, outstanding, and moving—I was in tears.”
    -Betsy Mariere
  • “Wonderful story—you swept us along right into your story and your life… thank you for sharing it with us.”
    -Tricia Crouette
  • “He was wonderful! Just right; very personal, inspirational…”
    -Maureen Thayer
  • “A great mix of humor and seriousness… you were great. The issues you addressed were very important and I’m leaving today with many new ideas to think about.”
  • “Wonderful presentation! Loved the humor and spiritual nature of content!”
  • “Very moving and enchanting… a very important topic that people don’t talk much about.”
    -Erika Azevedo
  • “Very moving and uplifting.”
  • “Entertaining and thought-provoking.”
  • “[Dr. Dahl] was able to fashion a story with great life experience.”
    -Dave Nicholson

Winterport, Maine, United States