Few things are more important for effective medical cannabis therapy than establishing and maintaining a quality working relationship between marijuana healthcare professionals and their patients. In the U.S., connecting with a cannabis proficient doctor can be easier said than done, and would be much more difficult without the secure, ease path to cannabis certification provided by telemedicine.
Healthcare costs in the U.S. are sky-high compared to many other developed nations. Americans spent $3.2 trillion on healthcare in 2015 alone. That’s almost $10,000 per person on average. In fact, according to The Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. spends more on health care as a share of the economy—nearly twice as much as the average Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country — yet has an unenviable life expectancy and suicide rate higher than the likes of 10 other high-income countries. The nations being compared here are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
One reason why the healthcare situation in the U.S. is so dire has to do with the relationship between patients and their doctors. Americans had fewer physician visits than peers in most countries, which may be related to a low supply of physicians in the U.S. and, of course, the massive costs associated with even basic medical care.
For the above reasons, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have embraced telehealth as a viable way to make appointments without the risk of breaking quarantine. Medical cannabis patients have been able to take advantage as well! Whether it’s facilitating connections with a doctor to renew a medical card or setting up a consultation to see if medical cannabis can help treat the symptoms associated with a qualifying condition, organizations like Leafwell that introduce certified cannabis doctors to patients have been busy on the telehealth end for the last year or so.
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With qualifying for a medical cannabis recommendation over the Internet being so new to so many, some patients might struggle with fully understanding how best to establish lasting, meaningful relationships with their certified cannabis telehealth doctor. This article will break down some barriers to connection and help ensure that the next Zoom call you have with your doctor is a great one!
Show Up Prepared for Appointments
If there’s one thing we as a society have learned over the past year or so, it’s that there’s no such thing as a quick and easy Zoom call. Whether it be bad internet connections, distracting sounds in the background, or even just a distracting environment for a discussion, video calls of any kind can be frustrating for everyone involved.
So it might not be the worst idea to gather together a list of symptoms and questions you might have for the doctor and keep them nearby with documents you might need, such as your insurance card and banking card, for quick and easy payment after the appointment.
It’s best to go in with a plan, especially for medical cannabis. Laws and rules for individual states and U.S. territories can be confusing. Tunning those questions by your licensed cannabis doctor is a good idea. Showing your telehealth doctor that you’re engaged, prepared, and ready for your appointment may go a long way to hitting it off from the start.
Be Open and Honest With Your Doctor
It might sound corny, but every healthy relationship is established on a foundation of trust. Whether that trust is between you and your spouse, you and your parents, or even between you and your Uber driver, all of those relationships rely on trust that each party will do the right thing for the other in service of the relationship. The same concept applies to your certified cannabis telehealth doctor!
Not only do you need to communicate with your telehealth doctor openly to receive the most accurate treatment plan and advice for your condition, but you’ll also need to do so honestly. To provide the most accurate course of treatment and advice, your doctor needs you to honestly and accurately reveal your medical history, symptoms, and any other medications you might be on that could interact with the medical cannabis.
Not being honest about symptoms you’re feeling or the severity of conditions could lead to problems beyond trust between a telehealth cannabis doctor and a medical marijuana patient.
Understand and Follow Your Cannabis Treatment Plan
The cannabis strains, medical marijuana products, and recommendations your certified cannabis telehealth doctor have for you are deeply individual. As discussed before here at Leafwell, the same strains of medical cannabis often have different effects on people based on their age, sex, height, weight, internal biology, tolerance to compounds like THC and CBD, and presence of other medications. That’s why the first two steps, being prepared and honest, are vital to ensuring the treatment plan is accurate.
Once you have that plan, it’s time to follow it! It’s super important to be clear with your cannabis doctor and listen to professional advice. The medical marijuana physicians the medical experts. Listening to their recommendations is the best way to relieve your symptoms without spending trial and error money at the dispensary.
If a doctor recommends you stick to hybrid strains or stay away from edibles, you will be smart to do so!
The Bottom Line
It can be hard to open up to another person about your health. It’s easy to feel vulnerable, weak, and embarrassed about something as personal as your physical being. If there’s one person to open up to, however, it’s your certified cannabis telehealth doctor. They’re the ones with the expertise, knowledge, and ability to give you a medical card of your own to treat a massive variety of ailments.
As long as you’re open and honest with these cannabis professionals, make sure you’re ready to ask the right questions about your treatment and follow their advice, you and your telehealth doctor should get along swimmingly!