Office Address: 523 Main Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
As the owner and operator of Rapid Referrals, Dr. S is lead certifying provider for patients. At Rapid Referrals, her mission is to certify all patients in South Dakota with qualifying medical conditions and, in doing so, granting them access to the herbal remedy they have the legal right to use. She treats every patient with the same compassion and kindness as the next, all the while maintaining her signature nonjudgmental and trusting bedside manner. Rest assured, you will be in good hands if you come to Rapid Referrals for your medical marijuana consultation.
Dr. S is a board-certified Family Medicine physician with over 15 years of experience caring for patients of all ages and teaching young doctors. Originally from Seattle, she obtained her medical degree at the University of Washington School of Medicine, one of the nation’s top medical schools. She is also board-certified in non-operative sports medicine. When not seeing patients at Rapid Referrals, she’s working as a hospitalist physician for one of the region’s top level 2 trauma centers while raising her two teenagers as a single mother.
As a longtime advocate of medical cannabis, she firmly believes in its therapeutic benefits and is a proponent of blending naturopathic remedies with traditional (allopathic) medicine. For South Dakotans, she believes that the list of qualifying conditions should be expanded to include mental health diagnoses, like anxiety, and so is hopeful the law will be amended in the near future. Not having a qualifying medical condition is the most common reason to be denied at Rapid Referrals. Additionally, she will not consult on medical marijuana for a person she cannot form a bona fide patient-doctor relationship with. Patients are screened over the phone, directly by Dr. S, to help determine if they have a qualifying medical condition. And, because she uses a “trust-first” policy, she does not require medical records as proof of diagnosis upon the first visit at Rapid Referrals. Reasons for this include the fact that not every patient uses the traditional medical care system and so may not have any traditional medical records to offer up. Moreover, with recent data confirming that “chronic pain” is, by a long shot, the leading diagnosis for medical marijuana use in the nation, her stance that “pain is purely subjective” means that no test or imaging study can prove or disprove if a patient is experiencing pain nor rate its severity. Years of experience caring for the sickest of patients has led her to this very clear appreciation of the complexities of each individual’s pain. It is also important that patients understand that certifications are not the only reason to see her at Rapid Referrals. With her expertise, she has many specific diet and lifestyle recommendations to include in her consultations with the goal to improve the health of each patient’s unique endocannabinoid system. She is also available to patients for follow-up, with a required follow-up in 1 year for every patient she sees.
One thing is for sure, she understands that it can be extremely difficult to find a pro-cannabis medical provider who’s also willing to certify a patient in a state where medical marijuana is newly legalized. Fear of professional backlash, misinformation and the state office refusing to post a list of certifying providers are the main contributors but these should not be the reasons patients are denied access to medical marijuana. Hopefully, Rapid Referrals provides at least one safe haven for South Dakota patients in need.
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