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Choosing a physician of any specialty can be very difficult. The most common resource for most patients remains their primary care physician. Primary care physicians can be great resources for traditional medicine referrals, but often times they lack knowledge or feel uncomfortable recommending a medical marijuana doctor. As a patient, this can be very frustrating as they find few other places to turn. In this day and age, most patients turn to the internet with blanket searches of ‘medical marijuana doctor’ or ‘weed doctor.’ While this will lead patients to medical marijuana doctors in their area, how do they know it’s the right doctor? The internet is filled with stories about how easy it is to get a medical marijuana card. Often times, patients are ushered through a single office like cattle, filling out the appropriate paperwork and then spending time with a medical marijuana doctor who seems to care more about getting them out and the next patient in then truly helping their condition. While this may appeal to the typical ‘stoner,’ patients who are truly in search of alternative medicine can find this very frustrating. So then how do you find the right medical marijuana doctor?
I always recommend patients start by consulting their primary care physician or specialist regarding medical marijuana use. While often times a dead end (as outlined above), it is very important that your primary care physician be made aware of your frustrations as a patient with traditional medicine and your desire to seek alternative medicine. Your physician can then work with you on safely lowering doses of any prescription medicine and can talk with you about not only medical marijuana, but also other alternative treatments. As a patient, you must not be afraid to seek advice regarding medical marijuana from your primary care physician. As medical marijuana is becoming more of an accepted form of medical treatment, a good primary care physician should no longer counsel patients against medical marijuana use but talk with them about the advantages and disadvantages of medical marijuana use so that their patients can make educated decisions.
The next best resource for patients seeking out a medical marijuana evaluation is fast becoming the internet. While traditional healthcare grading sites have not yet added medical marijuana physicians, there are a number of weed friendly sites that provide user reviews of medical marijuana doctors. It is important to spend time looking through user reviews. Reviews that talk about how quick or easy it was to get a medical marijuana card should be a red flag. A medical marijuana consultation should include a thorough discussion of patients symptoms, their previous treatment, their desire for alternative medications, and, finally, the risks and benefits of medical marijuana use. This allows the patient to make the most informed and educated decision and provides the greatest chance of getting actual relief of your presenting condition.
The final resource and, often times, the best is talking to other medical marijuana patients and inquiring about their experience with their medical marijuana doctor. Questions to ask are, how knowledgeable was the physician regarding your condition? How much time did the physician spend talking with you about your medical history and your desire to try medical marijuana as alternative medicine? And most importantly, did you feel that the physician truly cared about you as a patient or did it seem like he was just trying to collect your money and get you in and out as quickly as possible?
I hope this guide has provided you with some guidance on how to find the right medical marijuana doctor. Just remember, when choosing a medical marijuana doctor, you should use the same criteria you would when choosing a primary care physician or a specialist. You must have a good relationship with your physician so that you feel comfortable bringing up any concerns or problems you may have with your medication, whether it is traditional medicine or medical marijuana.