UBC’s medical school is rolling out a new curriculum next month, but it won’t include more training on medical marijuana.
Three hours of class time is currently dedicated to the controversial medicine, even though doctors have now become the gatekeepers of the drug.
The Assistant Dean of Curriculum for the medical undergraduate program, Adam Peet, says there are few rigorous studies to guide even experienced physicians, much less medical students.
He was asked if education could be expanded one day.
“It really depends on how the whole issue of medical marijuana unfolds; you know I think it’s really important to state that we are not so much about teaching content, as we are about teaching process. Medicine in any area within science is expanding at such a fantastic rate that it is impossible for everyone to stay up on everything all of the time.”
He adds “I don’t think the system is necessarily broken. There is always going to be new technologies and new controversies coming down the pipeline, and so it comes back to making sure our students are prepared to deal with them, rather than knowing how to manage each particular situation.”
UBC researcher, Dr. MJ Milloy, says normally science comes before regulation, but not in this case.
He is studying the role between marijuana and HIV/AIDS.
“The scientific evidence we need to determine if something is beneficial or not, when it comes to marijuana, we still have a long way to go. We have preliminary data that it might have a beneficial effect on HIV infection. What we are hoping to do is run a clinical trial that will last one or two years at least to figure out if what we have seen in our preliminary work in fact occurs in these proper clinical trials.”
He adds “It will take years for us to come up with adequate scientific knowledge to guide doctors and patients.”
Health Canada refuses to approve marijuana as a drug or medicine.
It’s been forced to regulate cannabis by the courts.
Read more about the revamped curriculum here .