Meet the Doctors behind CannaPlus+

Launching this February, CannaPlus+ aims to improve the lives of New Zealanders by empowering them to live an optimal, healthier life with access to affordable and quality Medicinal Cannabis.

Behind every successful clinic is a team of expert doctors – that’s why CannaPlus+ had a unique checklist when choosing their physicians to fulfil their mission. Not only were they looking for leaders in their field, but they also needed to be united by a fervent desire to make a difference in everyday Kiwi’s lives with medicinal cannabis.

“Aside from helping patients manage their symptoms through medicinal cannabis, we needed doctors who were ready to work alongside patients to fight the fight to de-stigmatise it,” says Chief Medical Officer Dr. Afraz Adam.

Today CannaPlus+ boasts a carefully selected team of renowned, highly qualified senior consultants with specialties across disparate fields: oncology, palliative care, dermatology, acute and chronic pain, inflammation, gut health, joint issues and muscular pain. They cater to a broad spectrum of patients across a breadth of health concerns.

Experience in isolation however, is inadequate. The CannaPlus+ team is diverse in ethnicity, sexuality and age, so they are well equipped to serve everyone in their community. This ensures that every patient feels safe and comfortable to seek the help they need, irrespective of their background.

“When looking for Doctors, we focused on finding specialists who were non-judgemental, empathetic, understanding, energetic and passionate. All our doctors share some key qualities. They are all fun-loving, caring and intelligent individuals,” says Dr Adam. It is important to ensure that patients can not only trust their doctors as medical professionals but also speak to them as real human beings.”

Get to know the doctors behind CannaPlus+ below:

Dr Afraz Adam – MBBS. FRNZCUC, Chief Medical Officer

Dr Afraz Adam offers a wealth of experience across multiple medicinal disciplines, having treated patients across Australasia for many years. He is a Fellow in urgent care and has been actively involved in hospital medicine, emergency rooms and accident and medical clinics. He spent 10 years as an Urgent Care Physician at the White Cross clinics in Auckland and held the position of Clinical Director at the Ponsonby White Cross Urgent Care for 5 years.

Dr Adam was one of the pioneering doctors at the Waikato DHB TeleHealth service. He has also been an integral member of the Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care as part of their Executive Committee and as Director of Professional Development in 2019. Dr Adam is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Doctor 360 in Ponsonby, a subspeciality clinic where he pursues his interests in men’s health, medicinal cannabis, hormone replacement, gut health, fatigue and stress management and is the Lead Clinician at the Edison Clinic where he helps improve patients’ well-being through genetics, sleep optimisation and preventative health measures.

Dr Adam is an advocate of medicinal cannabis, believing that it has the potential to improve patient’s lives significantly through relief of chronic pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, inflammation, diabetes control, alcoholism – and much more. He promotes a holistic approach to medicine and believes that sound nutritional health, mental fortitude, exercise and evidence-based supplements are the solution to a myriad of modern-day health issues.

Dr Michael Murphy – MB, BS, Pharm B.Sc. (Hons), Clinical Director

Dr Michael Murphy graduated in both Medicine and Pharmacology at University College London. He came to New Zealand to train in adult and paediatric emergency medicine, developing interests in the field of toxicology, as well as becoming an investigator for clinical trials in New Zealand.

Over the past 20 years he has encountered patients with a broad range of clinical conditions in his daily clinical practice and has kept up-to-date with the advances in medical understanding and therapies.

Dr Murphy is a passionate advocate of patient care. He believes that medicinal cannabis can provide a safe and effective adjunct for those whose medical care and well-being has not been fully met by primary or hospital-level care medicine.

Dr Rachel Lee – MBChB, BMedSci (Hons), PGDipSurgAnat, RNZCUC

Dr Rachel Lee is an Urgent Care Physician with a broad range of skills and experience. Dr Lee has worked across multiple medical and surgical disciplines in various primary and tertiary medical centres throughout New Zealand for the past 12 years.

Dr Lee is the Chief Medical Officer of Doctor360, a subspecialty clinic, where she pursues her special interests in cosmetic medicine, dermatological conditions and skin cancer surgery. She also holds an appointment as a Medical Officer in the Auckland Hospital Emergency Department, where she provides emergency care to acutely unwell patients.

Regarding her approach to medicinal cannabis, Dr Lee believes it can be a powerful and valuable addition to the care of patients with specific conditions, particularly in situations where conventional medicine has been inadequately effective, or where patients prefer a natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. She would like to see medicinal cannabis become more widely accepted and prescribed by physicians in New Zealand for this purpose, and for improved public awareness and safe accessibility to this product.

Dr Angela Soteriou – M.D, Am Bd Cert Int Med, Am Bd Cert Int Med (Hosp & Pall Med) FRACP

Dr Soteriou is the resident Medical Officer of Training and Research for CannaPlus+. Dr Soteriou completed her Physician training in New York where she worked as a Hospitalist for seven years, providing general medical care to hospitalised patients. Since then, she has worked across seven District Health Boards in New Zealand as a specialist in General Medicine.

Dr Soteriou is responsible for aiding and supporting CannaPlus+ and its personnel to ensure the successful delivery of the CannaCare Medical Network in New Zealand. She is board-certified in internal, hospice and palliative care medicine.

Dr Bryan Chong – MBChB, MAvMed, DOccMed, BBMedSc (Medicinal Chemistry), MInstD

Dr Bryan Chong is a medical doctor with a diverse practising background, encompassing appointments in clinical, corporate, and governance roles. After completing his medical training in Auckland, he gained further experience from a wide range of disciplines including hospital, urgent care and community medicine.

Regarding his medical practice, Dr Chong’s special interests lie in the field of occupational medicine, as well as navigating the complex interface between health, work and the regulatory environment. Dr Chong is a member of the Institute of Directors NZ and brings further diversity to his experience with a background in the military and corporate sector.

Dr Chong is a strong advocate for patient-centric care, which considers all aspects of a patient’s life that have the potential to impact health and wellbeing. He is passionate about guiding patients through the various challenges of health optimisation with evidence-based medicine enabling them to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Dr Mathew Muldoon – MBChB 2009 Edin, FACEM

After completing medical school at the University of Edinburgh, Dr Muldoon moved to Auckland where he embarked on his speciality training in Emergency Medicine. Now a Fellow of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine, his practice includes the effective treatment of pain and mood disorders.

Dr Muldoon has a special interest in palliative care and holds a Clinical Diploma in Palliative Care from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He is especially proud to be part of a team making the many medicinal benefits of cannabinoids accessible to more New Zealanders.

Dr Kirin Tan – MBChB

Dr Kirin Tan is an Urgent Care Doctor practising in accident and medical clinics across the Auckland region. As a medical graduate from the University Auckland, Dr Tan has prior experience working in intensive care and surgical specialities.

Dr Tan is an avid advocate of medical cannabis in the treatment of disease and champions a holistic approach to health to provide support focusing on the whole person. Dr Tan’s motivation is improving patient access to medicinal cannabis and reducing the stigma surrounding its use.

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CannaPlus+ is proud to be a silver sponsor of MedCan 2022.