Last updated on: 1/30/2009 | Author:

Bill Frist, MD Biography

Former U.S. Senator (R-TN)
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“As a physician I have sympathy for patients suffering from pain and other medical conditions. Although I understand many believe marijuana is the most effective drug in combating their medical ailments, I would caution against this assumption due to the lack of consistent, repeatable scientific data available to prove marijuana’s benefits. Based on current evidence, I believe that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that there are less dangerous medicines offering the same relief from pain and other medical symptoms.”

Email to, Oct. 20, 2003

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
     Key Experts
Physicians [Physicians are the "key experts" in the medical marijuana debate because the issue is thought by many to be ultimately based on the medical value and risks of marijuana, and Physicians, with their training and clinical work, should (at least in theory) have the best knowledge of marijuana's medical value and risks.] [Note: Key Experts definition varies by sites that have this designation.]
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • U.S. Senator (R-TN), 1994-2007
  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader, 2002-2007
  • Named one of two Congressional representatives to the United Nations General Assembly, 2001
  • Unanimously elected chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), 2000
  • Served on the following committees: Finance; Rules; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP); Foreign Relations, Budget, Banking, Commerce, and Small Business.
  • “Joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he founded and subsequently directed the multi-disciplinary Vanderbilt Transplant Center, which under his leadership became a nationally renowned center of multi-organ transplantation. A heart and lung surgeon, he performed over 150 heart and lung transplant procedures, including the first successful combined heart-lung transplant in the Southeast”, 1985
  • Education:
  • Surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital; Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, England; and Stanford University Medical Center, 1978-1985
  • MD, Princeton University, 1978
  • BA, Specialty in Health Care Policy, Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, 1974
  • Other:
  • MD, board certified in both general surgery and heart surgery
  • Quoted in:
    1. Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?