PhD/PsyD Clinical placements + drug testing + rec MJ states

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by psychababble33, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. psychababble33

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    I'm a regular reader/poster/commenter here, about to go on internship, using a throwaway account for obvious reasons. Questions for the group:

    1) Have you ever been drug tested in a clinical setting? If so, what kind of setting (VA, forensic, CMHC, hospital, etc)? At what level (pre-doc practicum, internship, job)?

    2) Folks working at clinical sites now - have you noticed any relationship between the increasing number of states allowing legal recreational/medical marijuana and changes in drug testing? Do you anticipate that changes will happen in the future?

    I'm personally very pro-legalization, and enjoy a good sativa every once in awhile, but presently abstaining due to concerns about being tested before or during internship. Would love to hear from other people about their experiences.
     
  2. NeuroLady

    NeuroLady Gero Neuro Nerd
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    Drug tested twice before starting practicum, standard hiring procedure, inpatient psych/ hospital. Other placements have told me they require it but never actually followed through.

    I believe that despite the legalization of recreational MJ there are many positions in which it is still considered inappropriate to use, this is one of them, and, as far as I know, there is no way to differentiate through drug testing how recently an individual used, e.g., during work/after work.

    I haven't really seen any changes regarding drug testing and new hires BUT recreational MJ is not legal in my neck of the woods.
     
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  3. smalltownpsych

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    Tested during the hiring process at a couple of practicum sites, my internship site, and current employer. Current employer randomly tests and although we are in a medical marijuana state, hospital policy, as set by the medical board, is that we do not provide green cards. I personally agree with our policy and would have voted the same way although it happened before I got here. I have mixed feelings about it being legal for recreational use and as my grandson is in a legal marijuana state and has a strong family history of problematic substance use, I don't like the message that legalization sends.
     
  4. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    I haven't been tested yet in the VA, but have several colleagues who have been. One of my other npsych people was just randomly tested a few months ago. Just because it may be legal in a state that you work, if you work for the federal govt, it's still verboten.
     
  5. AcronymAllergy

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    Was tested once in grad school before a practicum site, if I'm remembering correctly. Not again until a year or so into my current (VA clinical) job. I haven't seen a relation between testing and recreational legalization, but I'm also not particularly privy to rates of testing.
     
  6. Ollie123

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    Tested across a number of practicum settings, internship and current job. Wasn't an issue for me, but to the best of my knowledge a positive would have ruled me out from any of them.

    I have seen some discussion of how to handle positives from employers in states where it is currently legal. Just because its legal to use doesn't mean an employer has to allow it (alcohol is legal but you can't show up drunk...not that I'm equating recreational/weekend use with active intoxication, but just an example). If they figure out an easy/cheap/non-invasive test for acute MJ intoxication that will be a game changer, but right now there isn't anything. All of these things are grey areas in employment law and its going to be years before it gets sorted out. I'd definitely err on the side of caution.
     
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  7. Therapist4Chnge

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    I was tested for a school placement and a residential placement, but not for the Uni assessment clinic. Internship, post-doc, and 'real world' jobs all tests as part of the hiring process, though I was never tested again. It seems most places only test again if there is a reason, though I'm sure I agreed to random testing as part of my employment.

    I'm curious to see how states handle this and also medicinal use. I'd argue it is most in line with benzo use, so it should be allowed….unless there is impaired judgment while AT work and/or while carrying out work related duties. Laws lag years behind, as do workplace policies…so I'm not sure if I've seen a good answer yet.
     
  8. DrMikeP

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    I was tested for practicum placements, internship, and residency (clinics, university, hospital). I was also tested to be credentialed at my hospital. If you want to avoid drug testing then you probably should avoid practicing outside of private practice.

    Many hospitals take a dim view on marijuana and other substance usage among doctors, even in states where it is legal.
     
  9. DynamicDidactic

    DynamicDidactic Ass of Prof
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    Tested at beginning and end of internship (AMC in large Midwest city).
     
  10. temppsych123

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    Tested prior to a practicum placement at a large private psych hospital, not tested at any other placement (public medical hospital, public psych hospital, in-house clinic in a psych department). I was in a very liberal, big west-coast city, though!
     
  11. Psy2018anddone

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    I am wondering what the recent climate is in VA internships and post-docs for testing. I have a broken hip injury that is only helped with marijuana. I hope I don't have to give it up. I am doing an internship in a medical state, does the VA accept medical cards for usage? Thank you
     
  12. szymk1sm

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    My understanding is that the VA adheres to Federal (and not state) law. Since medical marijuana is not federally approved, then the VA's position is that it is an illegal substance.

    I assume this would be their position for new hires.
     
  13. WisNeuro

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    Yup, I was tested before I started internship, postdoc, and faculty positions in the VA. And, last I checked, medical cards are no good. So, either cross the VA off your list for now, or find a different pain control strategy.
     
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  14. AcronymAllergy

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    As szymk1sm said, VA adheres to federal law and does not currently allow use.

    I have been randomly drug tested at the VA as an employee, but don't recall if I was as a trainee.
     
  15. WisNeuro

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    I was never randomly tested after getting in, but I was tested prior to starting in the first place. Did have a handful of colleagues have to get random testing, though.
     
  16. boomshakalaka

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    I was tested during the hiring process at each level of training and prior to my full time gig. I was also tested randomly twice during internship, but didn't mind since it meant going home early! Also, if I remember correctly, during internship interviews the feds asked about MJ use in the preceding seven years. In my experience, it seems like larger entities will select large random groups of folks to test. I also got the sense that even in a med/rec state, a positive result would have been no bueno. As stated by others, it's probably best to err on the side of caution. When I look back at all the effort put into obtaining an internship, postdoc, getting licensed, and landing a solid fulltime gig, that sativa just doesn't seem worth it anymore. Take up bourbon.
     
  17. WisNeuro

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    As someone who worked in a VA in a state with legal rec MJ use, that is correct. The VA is federal ground and follows federal laws. They give 0 f*cks about the legality in the state.
     
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  18. BuckeyeLove

    BuckeyeLove Forensic Psychologist
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    if you're getting federal funds, wherever you work, I would be careful with this. That is, until it is removed from sched I
     
  19. AbnormalPsych

    AbnormalPsych Clinical Psychologist
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    I did internship, postdoc, and worked at a VA. Was never tested coming in or randomly while there. Although at each place I signed paperwork saying I could be randomly any time. VA is federal employment and VA facilities are federal property. MJ use is a big no no.

    I have lived in legal rec and med use states and even non-VA medical centers in these states tested for MJ at hiring. If there are federal funds received in any way I think that may matter. In addition, I think many major health care systems just don't want their providers using it, legal or not, right or wrong. It is probably a decision informed by a bunch of things, including liability as well as politics.
     
  20. PsychedUp313

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    Tested at a practicum placement at FCI before starting. As a student in Denver, I have noticed that the majority of practicum and internship sites still test regardless. My program advised against marijuana use while in school and internship to be safe.
     
  21. Psycycle

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    Tested before internship at a VA, before fellowship (non-VA), again when I hired into the VA, and again when I obtained my faculty appointment.
     
  22. psychRA

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    Each year a couple of trainees at my VA are selected for random drug testing. It's always partway through the year, so there's no way to anticipate when it will happen.
     
  23. singasongofjoy

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    End? Why the end?
     
  24. singasongofjoy

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    Have been told that there would be, or that I could be subjected to random testing, by employers. But only place I was actually tested was before one of my prac sites- a state-run residential facility. But I would certainly err on the safe side anyway- stakes are too high.
     
  25. DynamicDidactic

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    annual requirement. Happened to occur right before the end of internship.
     
  26. ItsNotMe_ItsYou

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    I've been drug tested multiple times throughout my training. Given the nature of my sites throughout prac, predoc, and postdoc (e.g., forensic, government, hospital), I wasn't at all surprised. I do remember one prac site swabbed my cheek versus the traditional urine sample, which I thought was interesting. Even if I lived in a state that legalized MJ, its use would be automatic grounds for termination.
     

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