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Cedric Fernando, MD: Duties of an Occupational Health Medical Director

Recognized as an expert in the field of occupational medicine, Cedric Fernando, MD, has been managing and treating workplace injuries for nearly 20 years. Cedric Fernando, MD, currently serves as the medical director of Unicoi County Memorial Hospital’s occupational health program.

The responsibilities of a medical director in the field of occupational safety are many. Here are a few of the main duties of the position:

Ensure compliance with safety policies and procedures – The medical director develops safety policies and procedures for the company and arranges for any necessary employee training on workplace safety issues.

Conduct appropriate screenings – It is the medical director’s job to coordinate all appropriate employee testing, including complete physicals, substance abuse screenings, EKG and stress tests, and hearing tests.

Provide guidance to employers – In addition to working employees, the medical director advises employers on the proper safety policies and procedures that need to be instituted in the workplace.


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Cedric Fernando, MD: How to Stay Safe at Work

Cedric Fernando, MD, is an occupational health physician in Unicoi County, Tennessee, where he performs all aspects of workplace health evaluations and treatments as the Medical Director of the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Occupational Health Department. Here, he offers guidelines on how to stay safe at your job.

Workplace safety is an important issue in many professions. Safe workplace practices are crucial not only in traditionally “dangerous” jobs such as construction, but also in office jobs. The best ways to preserve health and prevent injury while at work are to become familiar with the specific safety guidelines for your workplace and to take commonsense health maintenance measures.

Practice safe techniques for lifting heavy equipment or boxes, and adjust equipment to fit your physiology. Remember to take short breaks for stretching or to drink water if you are outside in the heat. Repetitive motion of any type, whether typing at a computer or carrying heavy objects, can cause injury. Prevent repetitive motion injuries by changing your motions and taking breaks.

A healthy lifestyle will also help prevent workplace injury. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, getting sufficient sleep, and not working under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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Cedric Fernando, M.D., on Scientists’ Work Toward an Artificial Pancreas

Dr. Cedric Fernando has served as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine since 1987. He also works at the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital in Erwin, Tennessee.

Through two new studies, scientists have taken further steps toward developing the first artificial pancreas. The new device would constantly monitor blood sugar levels in patients with type 1 diabetes and carefully calibrate insulin levels to their needs.

In type 1 diabetes, a patient’s immune system attacks the pancreas, destroying the body’s ability to produce insulin. Currently, people with type 1 diabetes try to predict how much insulin they will need over the course of a day and inject the insulin themselves. If they give themselves too much, they can cause lasting physical harm, and if they give themselves too little, they can die. Many people with type 1 diabetes, especially children, have difficulty maintaining proper insulin levels.

In one recent study, researchers used a computer-controlled system to keep children in their ideal blood sugar range for five hours overnight, compared to three hours with a parent-directed insulin pump. Another study used an automated system to predict changes in blood glucose levels and deliver the appropriate amount of insulin.

Although these studies are preliminary, scientists hope to create an artificial pancreas within five to ten years.

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Dr. Cedric Fernando on Whether Middle-Aged Fitness Can Fight Chronic Disease

A new study suggests that middle age may be an excellent time to exercise, especially if you care about avoiding chronic disease in old age. Researchers found that people who lead an active life in their 30s, 40s, and 50s were less likely to suffer from diseases like diabetes as they aged. For every 20 percent someone increased his fitness level, he or she saw a 20 percent drop in his or her risk of chronic disease. The relationship between fitness and disease held true for both men and women.

The scientists also found that physical fitness did not seem to confer a longer life. Rather, it just ensured that people would be healthier as they aged. While less fit adults were likely to suffer from lung and heart problems and endure a slow decline, the adults who exercised in middle age stayed healthy and active until they died suddenly. Researchers recommend that middle-aged adults engage in two and a half hours of moderate exercise a week in order to preserve their health into old age.

About the Author: Dr. Cedric Fernando practices medicine in Tennessee. Dr. Fernando serves as Medical Director for the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Occupational Health Department in Erwin.

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Questions to Ask Your Doctor During a Physical

By Dr. Cedric Fernando

Dr. Cedric Fernando performs a variety of pre-employment evaluations in the Occupational Health Department at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital, including annual physicals. Annual physicals provide an excellent opportunity for patients to speak to their physicians about personal health topic. When you visit your physician for a physical, make sure to ask your physician about the following subjects in addition to other questions that come to mind.

Q: What should I expect at a physical?

Generally, physicals consist of the same gamut of tests: listening to the patient’s heart and lungs, taking weight and blood pressure, examining the abdominal area, and checking hearing. For occupational physicals, employers sometimes require extra tests, including blood and urine samples.

Q: What is my ideal healthy weight?

Your physician can inform you of your ideal weight based on your age, height, and other variables. Share your family health history with your physician, as this will help him to put together a regimen of tips to help you reach your ideal weight.

Q: Is my blood pressure normal? If not, how can I regulate it?

Many patients do not understand the numbers that comprise blood pressures. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor to clarify your numbers and what they indicate regarding your health. Should your physician deem your blood pressure as too high, ask about foods you can eat and medications you can take to even it out. Also, take time to ask about your cholesterol.

Q: What female issues should women be concerned about?

Women typically ask many more questions during their physicals because their bodies require careful observation due to issues regarding pregnancy, regular periods, and so forth. For women, ask your doctor about whether you should use birth control, how often you should come in for breast cancer screenings, and other female issues.

About the Author: Dr. Cedric Fernando has served as the Medical Director at the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Occupational Health Department since 1987. As Medical Director, Dr. Cedric Fernando oversees occupational health services, such as performing physicals, treating patients who file workers’ compensation claims, conducting workplace drug tests, and more.

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