Dr. Benitezx

John G. Benitez, MD, MPH

Managing Director, Tennessee Poison Center
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine (Medical Toxicology)

What is medical toxicology? And, approximately how many toxicologists are there in the United States?

What does a medical toxicologist do?

What is the definition of poisoning?

Why should toxicologists be a part of this screening program? How will the program benefit from your involvement?

Why should people living near the fly ash spill sign-up for this screening program?

What sort of information will you be providing to those who go through the screening program? What will people know after they have been screened?

What do you, as a medical toxicologist, hope to learn from this medical screening?

Have there been similar medical screenings conducted on the health effects of fly ash? If so, will you refer to those studies? If not, how do you approach being the first medical toxicology department to be involved in this sort of program?

There seems to be conflicting information regarding the toxicity of fly ash and the potential for health effects. Where can people go to find the most accurate information?

What does your department already know about the potential health effects of fly ash?

How does this screening program differ from other programs in which you’ve participated?

How did you decide which elements to test for in the medical screening process?

What would you say to someone who is skeptical of the screening program to get them interested in signing-up?

Why would someone need to start out seeing the medical toxicologists [through this screening program] rather than their own personal physician?