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President of the Psychedelic Medicine Association talks clinician education

The association’s primary goal is teaching clinicians about psychedelic medicines and best practices.
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Lynn-Marie Morski

4 min read

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This edition of Making Rounds spotlights Lynn-Marie Morski, president of the Psychedelic Medicine Association, a professional organization that educates clinicians on psychedelic research and best practices. Morski talked about how she got into the psychedelics field, how the organization teaches healthcare workers, and what the most fulfilling aspects of her work are.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in healthcare?

I run the Psychedelic Medicine Association, where our mission is to educate healthcare professionals about the therapeutic uses of psychedelics so that they can feel comfortable discussing treatments involving psychedelic medicine with their patients when appropriate.

We work with healthcare professionals from across the spectrum, from primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, to therapists, counselors, and social workers—basically, anyone to whom a patient may show up and say, “I am struggling with depression or anxiety or PTSD” or whatever other medical condition that psychedelics may be able to address. We want all of those practitioners to be aware when there is a psychedelic option to address those conditions and feel comfortable discussing those options.

How did you start working in the psychedelic medicine space?

I was working as a physician at the Veterans Administration (VA) when I first learned about psychedelic medicine. I saw how many of the conditions that my veteran patients were struggling with without good solutions happened to be well addressed by psychedelic options. However, as a department of defense contractor, I wasn’t able to tell them about those options. In 2019, I decided to leave the VA and make it my mission to finally be able to tell specifically clinicians about these [options].

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How do you educate clinicians about psychedelics?

The Psychedelic Medicine Association educates clinicians through a number of methods. First, every month we send a research bulletin, which has the latest five or six most pertinent clinical findings from the world of psychedelic research. Additionally, every month we have a webinar where we do a deep dive into one specific area of psychedelic medicine. For example, we’ll do psychedelic medicine for substance use disorders or psychedelic medicine for eating disorders. We might even dive into a specific psychedelic medicine itself, like best practices for the use of ketamine.

In addition, we have a CME/CE [continuing medical education/continuing education]-accredited course, which is designed to…educate clinicians on how to do what is basically a clearance for psilocybin therapy. And by that, I mean if a patient in Oregon comes to their primary care provider and says, “I now have legal access to psilocybin therapy, but is it medically safe for me?” We created a course so that practitioners would be able to do basically a risk assessment.

What’s the most fulfilling part of your work?

When I speak with members who have had patients ask them about psychedelics and [hearing that] now they feel more comfortable having those discussions, because that’s what our main mission is. We know that patients are seeing psychedelics in the news, and…these are patients who very often failed a lot of things that they’ve tried before and are really getting desperate. They’re coming to ask their primary care provider, or maybe their psychiatrist or psychologist, “Are these right for me?” And that’s where our information steps in, so the clinician can then discuss with the patient and hopefully give that patient some hope.

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Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.