Michael Banov, MD

What Category Provider type are you? Psychiatry
What board certifications do you hold? American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine; Board Certified Research Investigator: Addiction Medicine
How many years have you been in ketamine practice? 7
What percentage of your work is clinical versus research? 70:30
Please describe any connections you have to major universities, research institutions and pharmaceutical companies, both financial and advisory/board? Clinical Professor Psychiatry Medical College of Georgia; Prinical Investigator PsychAtlanta Research Center
What are your views regarding desirability and appropriateness of including and fostering the variety of practitioners who presently administer ketamine for mood disorders? I advocate for integrating psychotherapy, utilizing evidence-based holistic and integrative medicine practices, encouraging lifestyle changes including diet, exercise, and stress reducing practices, as well as optimizing one’s physical health during and after the ketamine experience to maximize the benefit. I also strongly adhere to understanding the patient’s spiritual background and beliefs/practices and incorporating them into their ketamine therapy. As a psychiatrist, researcher, intergrative practitioner, and open minded religion major/hobbiest, I have a unique set of skills to incorporate all those into my day to day practice and believe they all need to part of treatment. Ketamine as a stand alone drug therapy without lifestyle changes and without understanding the patient’s spritual and psychological background is insufficient for many and underutilizing the full potential of the treatment.
What is your preferred route of administration of ketamine for mood disorders. What are your thoughts about the appropriateness or therapeutic value of other routes? I have no preferred route. Depends on the patient, goal of treatment, medical condition, diagnosis, psychological makeup, past experience with ketamine/hallucinogens/dissociative medications, finances, etc. Our practice uses all routes including IV, IN, IM, oral, suppository, and Spravato.
How do you approach the problem of integrating the transient altered state we induce into the patient’s overall psychic economy? What is the practitioner’s responsibility in this regard? First is establishing the baseline of the patient’s psychological makeup, history, spiritual/religious background, and past experience with altered states either trauma induced, drug induced, or through natural methods i.e meditation, prayer, etc. We make sure the patients have the right set and setting for administration and have the right staff person alongside if and when needed.
Please describe your present clinical practice. How will it look different in 5 years? We have private, calming rooms with well trained staff and therapists on hand. We use outcome measures with all patients and are publishing our results. Our practice hopes to use more ketamine assisted therapy and more groups in the future. We hope to be able to utilize other dissociative/hallucination inducing therapies in the future as they prove safe and effective. Also, would like to incorporate more integrative therapies in the future with ketamine. I foresee safe home monitoring in the future for maintenance.
How do you envision ASKP3 growing over the next 4 years? My vision of the ASKP3 is to become the primary professional advocacy, research, and educational organization for healthcare practitioners who want to learn more about the role of ketamine as a treatment for health care conditions and well as its role in health wellness. I see ASKP3 encouraging evidence based research by working with those in the academic and clinical community to establish what research questions need to be asked and answered. I see ASKP3 helping to establish and connect funding sources for such research with those interested in doing the research. We can establish a speakers bureau that would educate the healthcare community, consumers/patients, and administrators of health care plans. We need to advocate for insurance, foundations, and other potential payers to fund those who could benefit from ketamine but do not have the financial resources. We need to develop position statements on how to best educate healthcare providers who may want to refer patients for ketamine treatment but may not want to directly provide the service, how to train those healthcare providers who may want to provide such a service, and to best educate the public on safe and appropriate use of ketamine as a therapeutic option. We also need to be forward thinking about the role of other experimental “psychedelic” medication options and have position papers on their role in healthcare. One of my greatest concerns is the premature adoption of ketamine as a standard of care before we fully understand the risks and benefits as well as irresponsible utilization of other psychedelic medication including MDMA, psilocybin, ayahuasca, etc in which a few bad outcomes in the hands of a few poorly trained healthcare providers (though maybe well intentioned) could lead to an overreaction by the government, medical organizations, or other agencies shutting down this invaluable treatment option. I see no other organization at this time playing that role.