Dealing with a medical marijuana patient can be stressful; okay, so dealing with any patient can be stressful (and I speak here as a retired health professional) but those using medical weed can bring even more potential problems into the doctor/patient relationship than most.
Medical symptoms are likely to be intractable and cannabis might be the resort for this patient; you might have to deal with an older patient’s resistance to using marijuana or, conversely, you might have a patient ask to use medical marijuana who could be treated equally well, if not better, by conventional medication. You need to choose your patients with care, there can’t be much worse than having to deal on an almost daily basis with somebody you neither like or respect.
Thoughts on Choosing the Right Patients
How well do you know this person?
The potential patient might be a friend, a family member, or a past colleague. Great, you have a relationship and you get on well. Ask yourself, though, if you can make tough decisions when necessary. And can you charge the set fee without feeling bad about it? What if prices rise – how will you deal with putting your prices up for this person? Perhaps even more importantly – do you think you can keep to your professional standards when working with the patient; supposing, for instance, they ask you to break the rules? Working with friends and family is never easy; it can be even more difficult when cannabis is involved.
How well are you and the potential patient matched in terms of personality?
If you’ve been working in medicine for even a short time, you will know only too well how challenging personality conflicts can be. Will you be happy listening to the person’s problems and in giving advice? If you have no rapport with this potential patient, how will you feel about going the extra mile for them when needs be?
Religion and political affiliations
We all know that religion and politics shouldn’t enter into the health professional/patient relationship. We all know equally as well that, just sometimes, they do. Does this patient have any strong religious or political beliefs that you find offensive or difficult to deal with. Or, do you have strong religious or political views that would clash with the belief systems of this person.
Can the potential patient afford to pay you?
Okay, this isn’t a nice question to have to ask, and, yes, you went into this profession to help people. You still have to earn a living. Give your services away and you won’t stay in business very long. Be open and honest about your fees and have them sign a form confirming that these have been discussed and agreed. If you are supplying the medication, be up front about the cost of that too.
Just some thoughts for you – take them on board or throw them out as you see fit, but do give some thought to the issues. If you want to share your thoughts with others, you can always comment on this post.