Electro Convulsive Therapy


ECT is a part of the required Specialty Clinics rotation in the third year of residency. Patients are referred from a variety of sources, including our outpatient clinic, local community agencies, psychiatrists or outpatient therapists; or from Hershey Medical Center or other hospitals in the area. Patients are primarily referred for treatment of mood disorders, although ECT is occasionally used for other conditions, such as intractable obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, or catatonia.

ECT is available for both inpatients and outpatients. The procedure is conducted in the 5-Landis building of PPI (the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute) and is usually performed every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Residents in this rotation will learn to perform ECT under the supervision of a member of the Psychiatry faculty working together with an Anesthesiology team. In the course of this specialty clinic the residents become familiar with the technique of ECT, including electrode placement, stimulus intensity and waveform, treatment frequency, impact of concomitant antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and benzodiazepines. They become proficient in diagnostic indications and contraindications for ECT and are expected to understand legal regulations regarding the procedure.