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About Dr. Ed Ortega
Dr. Ed J. Ortega is licensed to practice by the state board in Puerto Rico, specializing in general practice in Puerto Rico and has over 10 years of experience in the field of medicine. He completed his doctoral thesis research of lipid and glycemic profiles of obese children in southern Dominican Republic in 2006 and graduated from Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra – Santiago, Dominican Republic, with a PhD medical degree in 2008.
Dr. Ortega’s medical training and board certifications includes the following: (NBME) I, (NBME) II, (NBME) III, ACLS and CPR Certification, ATLS Certification, Puerto Rico Medical State License. Also, he had collaborated with multiple healthcare institutions including local cities hospitals and regional hospitals. He is currently performing the private practice at his office located in the city of Moca, PR for the last 4 years.
What is your personal story and mission that motivated you to work with cannabis?
After facing the unknown and negative feedback from so many healthcare professionals about medical cannabis treatment, I now have a wealth of research and evidence on how this alternative treatment could help a population vulnerable to multiple chronic complications, how to incorporate it into their conventional therapies in an effort to reduce or relieve undesirable effects, as well as reducing accidental over-medications sometimes ordered by ourselves as physicians.
The answer is clearer when you learn how to understand the endocannabinoid system and when you learn how to recommend cannabis treatments responsibly.
Educating our patients responsibly on how to engage with this therapy and have positive results is a duty each physician should understand as well as that we have additional tools to help them.
Do you think cannabis education for medical professionals and health care providers is lacking?
Absolutely! There is a lack of education within the healthcare profession about the topic of medical cannabis. I understand that the right way to actively engage the medical community is by providing them with updated, accurate, and complete information that is from a trustworthy source. This can satisfy any kind of doubts they may have so that they can better communicate the correct information to patients whom request education about the topic. This will promote the initiative of educating our patients about the right usage of these products, who could otherwise by mistake obtain access to products outside of the medical recommendation.
What kind of cannabis research is needed that has not been covered yet?
I think the most important research is surrounding appropriate ways to manage every individual condition and how to adapt it to the endocannabinoid system that is “unknown by most”. As doctors, we must know how to approach our patients who are facing hopelessness from their medical needs as well as how to differentiate between recreational and therapeutic uses so patients can have a good experience with treatment.
Where do you see medical cannabis in five (5) years?
In the next five (5) years I see medical cannabis becoming an important part of not only conventional medicine and pain management, but as a great opportunity for improving the psychiatric branch of medicine as well due to its impact on emotional management because of its relation with the neurological system, tempering behavior, and brain function.
What is the best advice you can give to a first-time cannabis user?
To look for help and professional education before deciding to treat a medical condition. This is to ensure that a patient receives a nice therapeutic effect and does not trigger a negative psychoactive effect. This therapy is meant to be used in a way which improves your quality of life through alternative treatment with medical cannabis.