Physicians & Prescribers Course

Psychedelic Therapy Training Course for Physicians & Prescribers

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ATMA’s Physicians & Prescribers PaT Course offers busy practitioners the flexibility they need to gain advanced knowledge of psychedelic medicine, without interrupting their practice.

Join Canada’s leading psychedelic medicine training provider and become part of our alumni network of over 650 students who have enrolled in training to date.

Offering lifetime access to our learning materials, industry leading experts and a varied, flexible learning environment, as a student with ATMA you will gain the advanced knowledge you need to work in psychedelic medicine, and discover ways to nourish your own health and self-care practices along the way.

If you are a physician or prescriber enrolled in ATMA’s Advanced Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy (PaT) Certification Program, the Physicians & Prescribers PaT Course is included in your tuition.¬†

Course Info
at a Glance

Course Start Date

Ongoing, upon registration

Fees

$1,897 USD
*Contact us for group rates

Number of Hours

20 (additional 11 hours for optional live self-care sessions)

Credential(s) Earned

Eligible for Category 2 CME Credits (self-paced learning)‚Äč

Physician Involvement in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

Although physicians and other prescribers play a different role than mental healthcare professionals in regard 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.

Course Overview

ATMA‚Äôs Physicians & Prescribers PaT Course is self-paced and will provide advanced knowledge of the psychedelic medicine landscape in Canada, Australia and the United States. Our course covers up-to-date clinical research findings, discusses the applications of psychedelic-assisted therapy, explains the psychological and physiological effects of treatment and is eligible for CME credits (independent group learning activities category). Curriculum also reviews current standards of practice and provides physicians with foundational scientific knowledge about psychedelic medicines. ‚Äč

It is important for physicians and prescribers to be prepared 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.‚Äč

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Being the first point of contact, a key role of physicians and prescribers would be to evaluate patients for their eligibility, as well as, in some jurisdictions, 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‚Äôs 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.‚Äč

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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. ‚Äč

 

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.‚Äč

‚ÄčAll jurisdictions will have differing regulations on access to psychedelic medicine. In some jurisdictions, strict assessment and prescribing criteria exist that limits psychedelic prescribing to psychiatrists; in other jurisdictions general practitioners or nurse practitioners may adopt this role. ‚Äč

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Regardless of regulatory frameworks and standards of practice where you live and practice, and promising research that supports the safety and efficacy of psychedelic medicine continues to be published, and as public interest increases, physicians will undoubtedly face questions from their patients. 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, ‚ÄúAre psychedelics safe?‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúAre psychedelics addictive?‚ÄĚ Importantly, doctors must also know if it is legal to discuss psychedelics with their patients. This, and more, is covered in ATMA‚Äôs training course.‚Äč

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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‚Äôs Physicians and Prescribers Course will learn to accurately assess patient suitability from expert researchers and medical doctors in the psychedelic field.‚Äč

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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.‚Äč

The course includes:‚Äč

  • 9 modules of pre-recorded lectures taught by world-class instructors in the field. ‚Äč
  • Monthly live Q&A sessions with leading medical experts.‚Äč
  • 11 optional live online Self-Care Sessions on Sundays from 9:00am-10:00am MST. Post-session recordings available. ‚Äč
  • Ongoing updates to include the latest clinical data coming out of this still evolving field, as well as regulations in all jurisdictions. Students will be kept well informed with access to our program in perpetuity. ‚Äč
  • Online community of psychedelic practitioners and future access to directory for the public to search as well as for peers to network.
  • Discuss the history of psychedelics, both contemporary and Indigenous‚Äč
  • Describe the current research in psychedelic medicine.‚Äč
  • Understand the pharmacology, drug interactions and adverse events of psychedelics, with a focus on psilocybin, MDMA and Ketamine, and micro-dosing.‚Äč
  • Develop the skills necessary to confidently discuss psychedelic-assisted therapy with patients as well and their utility for treating conditions such as major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and end-of-life distress.‚Äč
  • Understand awareness of inclusion and exclusion criteria, learning how to screen patients for eligibility‚Äč
  • Understand dosing of psychedelics for safety and optimal experiences for patients.‚Äč
  • Learn how to access psychedelic assisted therapy through the avenue of the Special Access Program (in Canada) and gain the knowledge necessary to complete the assessments and paperwork required.‚Äč
  • Understand the importance of a collaborative approach to psychedelic assisted therapy and learn how to identify qualified team personnel, including physicians, psychotherapists, and facilitators to assist in the preparation, medicine session, and integration for the patient.‚Äč
  • Explore the challenges of access for marginalized populations as well as ethical considerations for inclusivity in LGTBQA+ communities and consider strategies to address these challenges.

OUR CURRICULUM

Course Curriculum

The course 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.

Unit 1 - Fundamentals of Psychedelics

Topics include: The Categories of Psychedelics, Natural vs Synthetic Compounds, Benefits of the Psychedelic Experience, Psychedelics and the Prescriber, Psychedelics in the Context of Holistic Psychiatric Care, The History of Psychedelics and Current Research and Study of Psychedelic Use.

Topics Include: General Descriptions and Uses of Psilocybin, MDMA, DMT and 5-MeO-DMT, 2C-B, 3-MMC, LSD, MEAI, and Ketamine. Pharmacology in Relation to Psychedelics, Leading Theories in Neurobiology for Psychedelics. In-depth Overview, Side Effects, Pharmacodynamics, Pharmacokinetics, and Drug Interactions for the three main psychedelics used – MDMA, Psilocybin, and Ketamine.

Topics Include: Indigenous Perspectives on Ceremonies and Medicine Circles, Bridging the Gap with Psychedelics, Access for Diverse and Under-privileged Populations and Reciprocity. Understanding the Special Access Program (SAP) Process for Prescribers to access Psilocybin and MDMA for their Patients, Psychedelics and LGTBQIA+ and BIPOC Considerations.

Topics Include: Overview of the Role of the Prescriber in Referring to a PaT Facilitator, The Value of Working with a Collaborative Team, Basic Principles of Guiding/Sitting, and Therapist Support Networks for Self-Care.

Topics Include: Codes of Ethics for Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy – Ethical Guidelines, The Importance of a Code of Ethics for PaT, How the 4 Pillars of Healthcare Ethics Should Inform PaT, The Ethical Psychedelic Practitioner. Informed Consent and the Use of Touch in PaT, Navigating Touch Options for PaT. Harm Reduction Principles.

Topics Include: The Role of Prescriber in Preparing the Patient/Client, The Role of Prescriber in Preparation and Integration.‚Äč

Screening for Safety and Optimal Experiences including Screening for Red Flags and Green Flags, Assessing a Patient for PaT. Preparation Tools for Preparing a Client/Patient for PaT, Setting Intentions, and Preparation Utilizing Embodied Inquiry.

Topics Include:  Dosage Consideration for Psychotropics and Psychedelics, Prescribing, Over-Prescribing, and De-Prescribing. Specific Dosage Considerations for Psilocybin and MDMA.

Topics Include: The Paradigm Shift – Comparing and Contrasting Traditional and Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy. Best Uses for Psychedelics. Addictive Potential of Psychedelics, Psychedelics for Substance Use Disorders, End of Life Distress and Palliative Care in both Clinical Trials and Therapeutic Sessions, ADHD, OCD, Depression and Anxiety. Cautionary PaT with Personality Disorders.

Topics Include: The Role of the Prescriber for Preparation and Integration, Why Integration is Needed, The Elements of Effective Integration, Integrating the Difficult Experience, The Importance of Multiple Complementary Modalities for Integration, Trauma-Informed Psychedelic Therapy, Somatic Approach to Trauma in PaT, PaT and Wellness and the Wild 5 Wellness Program.

QUESTIONS

Questions about our Physicians & Prescribers Course?

Please reach out to us via phone or email if your question is not addressed on this page.

The Physicians & Prescribers Course supports you with a greater understanding of psychedelics and how to prescribe.  

 

The Advanced PaT Certification Program includes both the Introduction and Advanced courses. Included is access to the Physician & Prescriber course as well as our 3-Day in-person coaching and the opportunity to participate in our 4-Day Health Canada regulated clinical trial.