Survey: Canadian Physicians-in-Training Lack Sufficient Understanding of Medical Cannabis

Kelowna, Canada: A majority of physicians-in-training in Canada say that they receive insufficient instruction with regard to the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, according to survey data published in the journal Complimentary Therapies in Medicine.

Researchers affiliated with the University of British Columbia surveyed the opinions of self-selected physicians-in-training regarding the degree to which they felt prepared to address issues surrounding medical cannabis. Canadian patients have been authorized to access medical marijuana since 1999 and lawmakers legalized adult use sales nationwide in 2018.

Authors reported that “the average amount of training received [by physicians-in-training] was less than 25 percent of the amount desired, and more than three quarters of trainees reported that further training would be required in order for them to engage comfortably with CTP [cannabis for therapeutic purposes].” Respondents’ said that their greatest knowledge gaps were specific to issues surrounding cannabis dosing and its risk/benefits profile.

“Our findings suggest that more education surrounding CTP among Canadian physicians-in-training will be required to remedy the perceived knowledge gaps reported by practicing physicians,” investigators concluded.

The findings are consistent with those of prior surveys in both Canada and in the United States which report that most doctors and nurses believe that they receive insufficient training with regard to cannabis.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, “Cannabis education needs assessment among Canadian physicians-in-training,” appears in Complimentary Therapies in Medicine.