Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship

Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship

MSC 09 5030
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: 505-272-6203
Fax: 505-272-4639

Electroconvulsive Therapy - ECT

Minimum of 12 weeks at 20% time

The University of New Mexico Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) service maintains patients in an active series (2-3x/wk) and a maintenance series (weekly-monthly). The indications for treatment include treatment-resistant depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and other disorders. The ECT service treats approximately 70 patients per year in the acute series and 30 patients on the maintenance schedule. The majority of these patients are inpatient at the UNM Mental Health Center

During the three-month rotation, fellows study appropriate indications to treatment and assess these for referred patients. They also coordinate referrals with pre-anesthesia and appropriate consultations (cardiology, etc). In addition, fellows learn different methods of stimulus delivery including right unilateral and bi-temporal lead placement. Fellows use the initial ECT session to determine the seizure threshold and adjust subsequent treatments to maximize efficacy.

Finally, fellows learn different mechanisms to lower seizure threshold including:

  • hyperventilation
  • caffeine
  • increased energy
  • different induction agents

By the end of this rotation, fellows should be able to administer ECT independently.

Faculty includes: Chris Abbott, M.D.; Aaron Brodsky, M.D.; Alya Reeve, M.D.; Davin Quinn, M.D.Carla Herman, M.D.; and  Sandra Qaseem, M.D.