Meet Dr. Maria Bernal, endocrinologist at Tono Health
What excites you about telehealth?
Not having limits! It excites me to be able to deliver patient care across different states to patients with a diversity of situations and needs. I believe that providing excellent patient care should also be combined with forward thinking. Society is evolving and moving fast and I want to be part of that change. The medical field needs to grow along with science and society.
What is your academic and professional background?
I finished medical school in the Central University of Venezuela. Then I moved to Houston, TX. There I took all the medical examinations that were required to be certified in the United States. Later, I moved to New York, where I completed my Internal medicine residency at Montefiore New Rochelle, associated with the university of Albert Einstein. I am a board certified Internal Medicine physician, but I decided to continue to shape my knowledge on obesity, diabetes and metabolism and currently, I am doing an endocrinology fellowship at the University of Florida
What excites you about working with Tono?
When I heard about Tono, I knew right away that I wanted to be part of their team. Tono is transforming one medical specialty that has long been considered a luxury, the field of dermatology. It is now making it accessible to patients and by doing it through a telemedicine model, patients will now have the opportunity to actively take care of their health without having to pause their busy lives. Common dermatologic conditions such as acne and HS are associated with chronic inflammation, diabetes and obesity. I am truly excited to share my knowledge and skills on endocrine disorders, metabolism and weight management with this spectrum of patients, making their approach more holistic and tailored to their individual needs.
What made you decide to go into endocrinology and obesity management?
Metabolism and obesity have always fascinated me. The interplay between our daily life and its impact on our health is notorious. I love working out and combining what I have learned along the years, with my medical knowledge, allows me to help and understand these patients.
What is your favorite part of working in this specialty?
That I get to make an impact in my patients lives, their quality of life and many times even on their families.
What is an exciting development in your area of medicine?
The understanding of obesity has evolved and changed significantly over the past decade. We now understand that our patients do not choose to deal with this, that willpower has little to do with it and that finally there are more medical therapies to help these patients achieve their goals.
What advice do you have for people looking to manage diabetes?
To find a specialist that is knowledgeable, but that they can trust and feel comfortable with. There is so much misinformation and misleading statements that only make things more complicated and frustrating. I invite people to embark on this journey with a well trained physician who can treat them and lead them along the way.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Having quality time with my family means everything, but I also love weight lifting, cooking, reading, traveling and learning.