Education needed before doctors recommend marijuana

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Aug 3, 2017 6:17 PM

(Harrisburg) -- The physician registry for Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program is now up and running, but before doctors can recommend the product to their patients, they need to learn a lot more about cannabis.

Dr. Stephen Corn launched The Answer Page in 1998, originally as a resource for medical residents. He added a curriculum on medical marijuana in 2012, after it became legal in his home state of Massachusetts. It only took a few questions from his then ten-year-old son for him to realize how hard it was to find unbiased, scientific information on the drug.

Since then, Corn and his wife, Dr. Meredith Fisher-Corn, have expanded the cannabis curriculum to health professonals in Massachusetts, Florida, and New York. Now the site is one of two approved by the state to educate Pennsylvania physicians.

"We make sure that we have a search function, information is printable, everything is referenced with footnotes, it's all peer-reviewed content and then accredited content," Corn said. "So it goes through multiple levels of vetting before it goes live on the site."

Corn says doctors will likely start to see patients in the coming years who are already using medical marijuana, so it's important to know as much about drug interactions as possible.

"As it becomes legal, whether or not you have any plans on recommending medical cannabis, if you want to stay that expert guide for your patients, you really need to be able to answer their questions and be very familiar with it," Corn said. 

Pennsylvania requires four hours of training to participate in the state program. 

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