Published in BMC Primary Care
Mounting evidence suggests the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana (MM) in treating chronic ailments, including chronic pain, epilepsy, and anorexia. Despite incremental use of medical and recreational cannabinoids, current limited evidence shows generalized unpreparedness of medical providers to discuss or recommend these substances to their patients. Herein, the present study aims to examine internal medicine residents’ knowledge of marijuana and their attitude towards its medical use.
This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. A survey with 12 standardized queries was created and distributed among the internal medicine residents from Mount Sinai Morningside-West (MSMW) program from July 2020 to December 2020. Participants included preliminary and categorical residents from post-graduate years one to three. The survey consisted of self-assessment of residents’ knowledge on the indication, contraindication, adverse effects of MM.
Eighty-six (59%) out of 145 residents completed the questionnaire. Despite most trainees (70%) having considered certifying the use of MM for their patients, over 90% reported none to little knowledge on its use. Approximately 80% of the surveyed residents expressed willingness to receive an appropriate educational curriculum.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that indicated a critical lack of medical marijuana-related knowledge in surveyed internal medicine residents. In a population with growing cannabis consumption, physician training on the indication, toxicity, and drug interaction of cannabinoids is warranted.