Even as cannabis has come up through the ranks of medicinal use since the 1990s in current times — and truly long, long before as well — it is not yet a focal point in most med schools’ curriculums. This is likely part of the cause of why many primary care physicians are not inclined to discuss marijuana treatment options with their patients.
As more and more states legalize and as we learn about the health benefits that exist within the cannabis plant, the need for doctors who focus on cannabis based treatments is rising quickly. Not only so that patients can get their recommendations to obtain cannabis, but because people look to their doctors for medical guidance and need useful information.
Physicians should remember this: An obstacle that arises is pot’s Schedule I status. It means that research in the U.S. is limited and thus studying the cannabis plant becomes tedious, far from impossible, but still requires a lot of good research. But as a doctor, you’re used to studying, right? So what else is required to become a THC PhD?
Networking is the key in the lock of information as to what it really entails to become a medical marijuana focused physician. Find doctors who have already gone done that route, talk to new cannabis doctors and ones with established practices. Talk to doctors whose primary focus is marijuana and ones who also are simply willing to talk about cannabis like any other treatment option. And especially, talk to your patients, they want to talk to you.
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Compassion is the biggest requirement to becoming a pot doc and is also one of its biggest rewards. Watching a person who hasn’t been able to put on weight start to eat is a miracle. Veterans leave opiates behind; children cease or slow severe seizure disorder, chemotherapy patients feel a whole lot better and seniors reap benefits from arthritis to sleep disorders to Alzheimer’s. Plus, the lack of harmful side effects leaves no murky area in which to reconsider your advice.
Treating someone and seeing them benefit from a plant, which does have the side effect of uplifting to the spirit, is a reward in itself. Find out what requirements are necessary in your state to become certified to recommend cannabis to your patients. There are a few steps, but the reach of your care will be multiplied 10-fold by the addition of medical cannabis to your physician’s store of treatment options.