Psychedelic Therapy Training Program for Physicians & Prescribers
Physician Involvement in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy
Although physicians and other prescribers play a different role than mental healthcare professionals in regards to psychedelic-assisted therapy, their role still deserves special consideration. Like all drugs seeking clinical approval, safety is the primary concern for regulators and consumers alike. While it is not in their scope of practice to directly provide mental health therapy, physicians and prescribers nonetheless have an important role in the psychedelic revolution, ensuring that this effective and revolutionary treatment is delivered to patients in a safe manner.
As Canada, Australia, and some 17+ U.S. states begin implementing regulations for the therapeutic use of psychedelics, there are still questions regarding how psychedelic-assisted therapy will be rolled out across various regulatory environments.
Most psychedelics are currently classified as Schedule I drugs in the United States, meaning they are not considered to possess any medical benefits while also conferring a high potential for abuse. Other G20 nations have classified psychedelics in equivalent terms. In light of the promising research emerging from well-respected institutions, such as John Hopkins and Imperial College London, that documents the significant benefits psychedelics can have on chronic and persistent mental illnesses, many are now working to move psychedelic therapy into the realm of western medical practices.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Doctors, Prescribers, and Psychedelics
Despite the fact that physicians do not typically provide frontline mental health therapy, statistics have shown that many patients first present to their physicians with their mental health concerns. As evidence supporting the safety and efficacy of psychedelics in mental health continues to grow, and as public interest increases, physicians will undoubtedly face questions from their patients. Therefore, it is important that physicians have both sufficient knowledge and the scientific background in order to engage in informed discussions with their patients. Physicians will likely be asked questions such as, “Are psychedelics safe?” and “Are psychedelics addictive?” Importantly, doctors must also know if it is legal to discuss psychedelics with their patients. This, and more, is covered in ATMA’s training course.
As with any pharmaceutical treatment, there are potential risks, adverse effects, contraindications, and drug-drug interactions of which physicians should be aware. Certain therapeutic protocols currently under study require high doses of psychedelics that induce altered states of consciousness. This has the potential to exacerbate certain medical and psychiatric conditions; physicians enrolled in ATMA’s Physicians and Prescribers Course will learn to accurately assess patient suitability from expert researchers and medical doctors in the psychedelic field.
In addition, ATMA is creating a community of trained psychedelic doctors and practitioners to support you. By establishing both an academic program and a practitioner support network, ATMA ensures professionals are armed with the knowledge they need to advocate for psychedelic-assisted therapy.
THE PHYSICIAN’S ROLE
Why More Trained Physicians and Prescribers Are Needed…and Soon
It is important for physicians and prescribers to be prepared for when psychedelic therapy becomes increasingly available for public access. Physicians regularly collaborate with a network of other professionals, including psychiatrists, surgeons, nurses, psychologists, and other specialized practitioners who aid them in the delivery of effective care for their patients. The field of psychedelic-assisted therapy will require a similar type of supportive network to ensure patient safety. Starting with physicians and prescribers, it is likely that some patients will require a medical screening, referral to psychiatry, or a prescription to receive psychedelics in most regulatory jurisdictions prior to being connected with psychedelic facilitators and therapists.
Being the first point of contact, a key role of physicians and prescribers would be to evaluate patients for their eligibility, as well as to prescribe the psychedelic therapy. In collaboration with psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical counselors, social workers, or doctors in other specialized fields, physicians can help assess a patient’s need and suitability for psychedelic therapy. At other times, physicians may need to assist patients in accessing a care network who can provide this specialized service.
In addition, a growing body of evidence supports the use of psychedelic therapy for end-of-life anxiety in palliative care patients, treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addictions. Physicians, as the primary point of contact for many patients in the health care system, are in the position to connect patients with psychedelic-assisted therapy providers. As a physician, you can help your patients receive the necessary help by equipping yourself with the knowledge required to support patients who are good candidates for this novel and effective treatment.
Components of our Physicians and Prescribers Program
- 9 modules of online coursework including lectures from leading experts in the psychedelic realm. Topics will cover psychedelic-assisted therapy, pharmacology, and neurology.
- The opportunity to work at an individual pace in an easy-to-navigate online format, allowing for busy medical professionals to take this course without disruptions to their current practices.
- Access to live Q&A sessions with leading experts from our faculty, as well as guest presenters.
- The opportunity to form connections with other like-minded professionals, and to develop a peer support network with a shared purpose to shape the future of legal access to psychedelic-assisted therapy.
- Access to optional weekend workshop activities on introspection and self-care.
The Physicians and Prescribers Program is eligible for CME credits, and will provide advanced knowledge of the psychedelic medicine landscape in Canada, Australia and the United States. Our 20-hour program covers up-to-date clinical research findings and data, discusses the applications of psychedelic-assisted therapy, explains the psychological and physiological effects of treatment, discusses the standards of practice, and provides physicians with foundational scientific knowledge about psychedelic medicines.
The ATMA Physicians and Prescribers Program is CME Eligible
*Advanced In-Person Coaching may include clinical trial participation and the ingestion of psilocybin, should you meet the clinical trial eligibility criteria. In-person training is an additional $1,597 USD.
We are unable to offer refunds after registration; however, we will work with you if personal circumstances prevent you from attending.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, all our offerings are open to Canadians and Americans, including training, clinical trial and business services. This is a great opportunity to be prepared when Oregon psychedelic therapy laws go into effect in 2023 and with new Colorado psychedelic therapy regulations on the horizon.
Health Canada is slowly opening the door for patient access to psilocybin and MDMA for therapy purposes. This psychedelic guide certification program will provide qualified therapy providers with an understanding of these medicines, and will equip them with the leading-edge therapy protocols necessary to practice legal psychedelic-assisted therapy in the near future.
Therapy providers interested in how this psychedelic facilitator training program can allow them to participate in the upcoming Oregon legal framework for Psilocybin Services in 2023, please see Oregon Services.
Psychedelic therapy clinical trials will be held at various clinics across Canada, currently being planned for Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.
While our psychedelic therapy students in Canada are encouraged to participate in the clinical trial (an important element of working with psychedelics is to have first-hand experience with the medicine), we understand that some students may have contraindications to psilocybin, or do not meet the other inclusion/exclusion criteria of the trial, and are thus unable to partake in the experiential session.
Nonetheless, students will still be able to embody the role of the psychedelic guide and learn how to effectively guide others through their psychedelic journeys.
Yes, please contact us for more information on your eligibility.