Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation–Part II

Sorry for the lack of writing folks, I been biiiiiiizzzzzzzzzyyyyyyy!

I am proud to announce that I am an official TMS provider!  My NeurostarTMS machine was delivered the first week of November and I spent the better part of last week being trained on how to use it in real-life situations.  From a professional standpoint it is awesome.  For the standard psychiatry part of my practice, the most technically challenging aspect of the day is clicking the top of my pen so I can write prescriptions.  Using TMS is a whole other world.  For those who have little understanding of what TMS is (which I would guess is most of you since this is brand new technology), it involves stereotactically mapping out the part of the brain that sends signals to your right hand, and then using those coordinates to estimate the location of the prefrontal cortex that would be most likely to cause mood improvement if subjected to a series of magnetic pulses.  The machine itself is amazingly awesome in how it is set up to make this doable.  That fact that it works to help people who are suffering feel better?  I cannot describe how that makes me feel.

The persistent suffering of my patients with non-responsive depressive symptoms is very difficult.  I am very skilled at not letting their sadness become my sadness, but I develop a very nice relationship with these people over time and it IS sad for me to see them suffer.  I have depression in my family, so I know first hand how frustrating it is for patients and their families to spend month after month not getting better.  I know how my decisions with the medicine can impact on lives and families and make or break them.  To have a new hope to give these people . . . brings tears to my eyes.  I have one patient already receiving active treatment and I have several more who are in the pipeline ready to start by the end of the month.  I will let you know how things go over time.

So, I’ll be back to writing soon.  I still have organizational issues to address to get TMS fully integrated into my practice.  If you want to learn more about TMS, go to the company website and see for yourself . .

–Dan Hartman, MD

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