What Should You Look for When You Choose a Medical Marijuana Doctor?

What Should You Look for When You Choose a Medical Cannabis Doctor?

 

Most sites that offer telemedicine visits to enroll in the Texas Compassionate Use Program, are actually owned by large out of state corporations.  These companies never show who the doctors are that you will be seeing in your consult.  Why the secrecy?

 

When patients search for a healthcare provider, they usually google the physician and look through his or her credentials.  Where was the doctor educated?  Is he or she board certified in their speciality?  What do the reviews say about the doctor’s bedside manner?

 

When you look at the online portals providing consults with physicians to learn about medical cannabis, most of them say nothing about their doctor’s credentials.  Why is this?  Shouldn’t this raise some concern? 

 

The truth is that most of these websites are run by large corporations, who hire doctors that are frequently NOT board certified.  These doctors make money by performing 15 minute consultations merely designed to qualify you to receive medical cannabis in states where access to marijuana is much larger.  These doctors do not have to review medical records and conditions the way that they must in Texas.  Furthermore, the Compassionate Use Program in Texas is designed to link a patient to a given doctor who provides continuity of care as they continue to explore the use of THC and CBD for better health.  Like any other patient-physician relationship, the two parties work together over time, working to improve the patient’s overall health by treating the patient as a whole.  The medical cannabis program in Texas is not designed for anonymous doctors to see patients for a single yearly visit. 

 

If you don’t know the name of your physician, how do you reach him or her to ask questions about your medication or problems you are having with interactions with your pharmaceutical medications?  How can you be sure you can find this doctor again when you want to refill your prescription?  In order to continue in the program, if you want to switch doctors, you have to ask your original cannabis doctor to discontinue your relationship on the CURT platform.  If your doctor is operating under a black box, how are you supposed to locate him or her? 

 

The two dispensaries in Texas also have portals that connect patients with physicians via telemedicine platforms, yet neither company lists the physicians they have contracted.  Why?  Look up any other clinic in any other medical specialty, and each physician in the clinic will have a profile with their resume.  Even worse, the dispensaries are businesses built for profit by selling cannabis.  Can you think of any drug company that offers a telemedicine connection to a medical provider who will write a prescription for the opiates or benzodiazepines they manufacture? 

 

The answer is absolutely not. 

 

At Compassionate Telemedicine, we believe in transparency.  We are actively working to improve the perception that cannabis is a safe and effective medicine that deserves to come out of the shadows.  We work with our patients over time, with lengthy consults that involve education about cannabis, how it works in the body, and what the different routes of administration are available and would work best with their entire physiology.   

 

 

Texas has one of the most strict medical cannabis programs in the nation.  It should be managed by physicians who are educated about cannabinoids and who want to educate others. 

Author
Dr. Allison Kendrick

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