According to a survey of medical school curriculum deans conducted by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, 66.7 percent indicated their graduates were not prepared to recommend medical cannabis and another 25 percent said their graduates were not even prepared to answer medical cannabis questions.
The survey included deans at 172 North American medical schools, including 31 that specialize in osteopathic medicine. They received 101 replies.
The team also surveyed 258 medical residents and fellows who earned their medical degrees from school in the U.S. who now work at the school and the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. That survey found 90 percent of in-training physicians who responded said they were not prepared to recommend medical cannabis, and 85 percent indicated they had not received any training in medical school or their residencies about medical cannabis.
The researchers also examined the Association of American Medical Colleges database and found that just 9 percent of medical school reported they had covered medical cannabis.
Dr. Laura Jean Bierut, senior author of the study, and Alumni Endowed Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University, and a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, said the study shows that “medical education needs to catch up to marijuana legislation.”
“Physicians in training need to know the benefits and drawbacks associated with medical marijuana so they know when or if, and to whom, to prescribe the drug,” she said in an interview with the university’s BioMed Radio.
The study was published in the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal.