Although 29 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana use for medical purposes, few medical students are being trained how to prescribe the drug. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis surveyed medical school deans, residents and fellows, and examined a curriculum database maintained by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), learning that medical marijuana is not being addressed in medical education.
Their findings are available online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
“Medical education needs to catch up to marijuana legislation,” said senior author Laura Jean Bierut, MD, the Alumni Endowed Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University and a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. “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.”