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Psychiatry Residency Training Program
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VA Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Certification

ECT is one of the oldest and one of the most effective treatments at the disposal of psychiatrists. Its efficacy in treatment of major depressive disorder is as high as 80%. Yet, the access to this treatment for many patients is severely limited by the lack of trained specialists, and there are only a few medical centers in Washington state that provide this valuable service.

Seattle VAMC has a robust ECT service. We serve not only Seattle but also the entire Washington state, the state of Alaska, and recently the state of Oregon, receiving referrals from the VA centers in Anchorage, Portland, and Spokane. We perform index ECT series continuously on hospitalized patients with severe depression, psychosis, and/or suicidal ideation; we also admit patients for elective ECT. We have a maintenance ECT clinic where few select patients who haven't benefitted from other psychiatric treatments (or had only a partial response to them) continue to receive ECT on biweekly or monthly basis, following successful index ECT series.

During the ECT rotation, psychiatry residents (and fellows, if they are interested) will learn how to select the patients for ECT appropriately, the process of pre-ECT workup and consent, and follow the patients over time during the course of index ECT. Emphasis is placed on learning how to do the ECT procedure, with the ultimate goal of becoming certified to perform this treatment independently upon graduating from the residency and/or fellowship. Supervisors for the rotation include Drs. Borisovskaya, Gopinath, Augsburger, and Kothari.

ECT service runs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (with exception of post and pre holiday days when it may also run on Tuesday or Thursday), from 8:30 through 11 (approximate times). The duration of the rotation depends on the needs of a particular resident and may last 6 months once a week, or 2 months 3 times a week. A year round rotation is also available if desired. We encourage attendance of a bimonthly ECT conference where we discuss complex cases and work on ongoing quality improvement of the ECT treatment for our veterans.

Syllabus is available upon request.

Required text: Mankad, Mehul V., et al. "The Electroconvulsive Therapy"

Contact: Anna Borisovskaya, MD; 206-277-1926

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Psychiatry Residency Training Program
1959 NE Pacific Street, Box 356560
Seattle, WA 98195-6560