The nation’s largest telehealth network, PsychMD, is starting ketamine treatments this week.
We sat down with PsychMD founder Bryan Henry to talk about his transition into the burgeoning psychedelic therapy space after watching the telehealth network he built to support hormone therapy explode into the biggest telehealth network in the U.S. Henry will use that same network of family doctors to provide referrals for the new ketamine therapy services he’ll be offering in 44 states. Henry is also the Founder and President of Peter Holdings
After finishing up in the military, Henry obtained his family nurse practitioner license from the University of Oklahoma before securing a Ph.D. in Endocrinology and Reproductive Physiology from the University of Wisconsin. After securing his degrees, he would spend the first half of the 2010s working in hospitals.
“I don’t know, I got pretty burned out of being in the hospital setting, a lot of non-doctors administration telling you how to do your job, which is quite frustrating for providers clinicians, so I decided to start my own practice. I started my own practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma 2015,” Henry told L.A. Weekly.
While things were going great for the business, his health began to suffer.
“So around 2019, I started getting severe depression. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, so it became really bad for me and I chalked it up PTSD,” Henry said noting he questioned going on disability. “My patient outcomes are suffering, my family is suffering. I’m trying to run this massive company and I just couldn’t even get out of bed, and I was leading to a pretty toxic environment for myself and my family.”
Henry’s sister, a psychiatrist with the Department of Veterans Affairs, informed him about the success stories she’d been hearing about using ketamine to treat PTSD. Henry’s PTSD had proven treatment-resistant up to that point. It ended up being an extremely effective tool in treating his PTSD. He remains a patient to this day.
“It really was the turning point for me to change my life, as well to get out of bed, get back to work, and really grow this as big as we could. And obviously, we’ve grown it to be the largest in the U.S. now,” Henry said, “That’s why I’m damn thankful that ketamine was introduced to me.”
The appeal of helping his fellow veterans is massive for Henry. But Ketamine is a big jump for those people that have never used drugs like Henry. We asked Henry, how does he convince his peers that might not even be willing to try a joint to help with their PTSD to experiment with ketamine?
He replied he was that guy. But as he went through the research on both safety and efficacy, he was willing to cross the bridge. He believed with a little fact-finding others would come to similar conclusions.
Some of PsychMD’s big competition has gone under or doesn’t look prepared for a forthcoming tightening of regulations that were originally loosened to simplify life for people during the pandemic. Once that hits, PsychMD will be the only company legally able to provide telehealth ketamine services.
We asked Henry if PsychMD was now the most accessible ketamine therapy for vets with PTSD.
“100%,” Henry replied. He continued it wasn’t just the most accessible for vets, but everybody.
Henry went on to describe the development of the program they’ll be launching. That group was about 60 patients.
“When Ketamine Wellness Center shut down, we went in to buy the company because obviously with our board being highly composed of military veterans. We saw all the articles, all the publications of these veterans getting left behind and that’s why we wanted to buy the company,” Henry said noting due to some issues on the other side they were unable to get the deal done. “But what we did get out of it was all the patients that they have left behind, just closed the door on them. So we’re working with those patients right now, making sure that they’re getting back on therapy and the majority of those patients are better. And so, that’s kind of what we’ve been focused on, was our veterans right now at this point starting next week, we’re really gonna push it through the public, but roughly about 60 patients in terms of treatments roughly, probably 300 treatments.”
Despite the massive void left by Ketamine Wellness Center, PsychMD doesn’t plan to rush scaling up and risk jeopardizing the quality of the treatment they are providing.
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