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Did you know... Depression is not a normal part of aging. It's brought on by emotional experiences like the loss of loved ones, geographic separation from children and family, absence of a sense of purpose after retirement, financial pressure and deteriorating health.

ECT Mini-Fellowship

Emory University School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry presents ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY MINI-FELLOWSHIP

The course is intended for psychiatrists interested in developing an ECT service and understanding the procedures for the administration of ECT. The course emphasizes practical aspects of ECT administration including the pre-ECT workup, consent process, administration of a treatment with “hands on” experience for the participants, management of ECT side effects and maintenance medication or maintenance ECT after an index course. The course will also provide reading material including an overview of the lecture material and the most recent APA guidelines for the administration of ECT.


Understand the most recent evidenced based literature on the theoretical basis for the therapeutic efficacy of ECT and the procedures for the safe and effective administration of ECT. Review the policies and procedures required by Joint Commission and APA guidelines including necessary forms, pre-ECT work-up and post-ECT evaluation and follow-up. Practical experience in pre-ECT evaluations, observing ECT treatments, recovery and follow-up. The student will receive one-on-one training with an instructor.


Physicians in the Emory ECT Service administer approximately 180 treatments per month. This will allow course participants to be involved in approximately 20– 30 treatments during the three day course. The focus of the course is on the practical aspects of administering ECT with a strong emphasis on evidenced based literature supporting the practice of ECT.


William M. McDonald MD William M. McDonald MD is the JB Fuqua Professor of Psychiatry and Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavoiral Sciences at Emory University.  Dr. McDonald is the Director of the ECT service, he has been administering ECT since 1993 when he came to Emory from Duke University.   Dr. McDonald is Chair of the American Psychiatric Association Committee on Electroconvulsive Therapy and Other Electromagnetic Therapies and is an active member of the Association of Convulsive Therapy.  Dr. McDonald has completed an NIMH funded study in maintenance ECT, is on the editorial board for the Journal of ECT and has been a lecturer and instructor in ECT seminars at both the APA and American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry.   Dr. McDonald is presently one of the authors on the APA’s upcoming revisions to the Recommendations for Treatment, Training, and Privileging for the Practice of Electroconvulsive Therapy.  Dr. McDonald was an investigator for the Neuronetics trial of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and was a principal investigator for the NIMH funded multicenter TMS trial involving Emory, University of Washington, Columbia and Medical University of South Carolina.  Dr. McDonald will be involved in the practical instruction of ECT as well as teaching of the course.

Adriana Hermida MD Adriana Hermida MD is the Director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program and former director of Electroconvulsive Therapy Service at Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital. She supervises and is a consulting physician with the community & outpatient clinic, has been involved with research in transcranial magnetic stimulation and is the Emory University representative with the National Network of Depression Centers.

Patricio Riva Posse, MD Patricio Riva Posse MD was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He earned his Medical Doctor degree from the Universidad de Buenos Aires. He then completed a residency in Neurology at the "Instituto de Investigaciones Neurologicas- Dr. Raul Carrez - FLENI," was chief resident and worked as faculty for a year before moving to the US. He did his residency at Emory University and in his last year he was chief resident at Emory University Hospital. Since 2008, he has been involved in research in Deep Brain Stimulation for depression at Helen Mayberg's lab. He joined the faculty as Assistant Professor, and is currently an attending physician in the Medical Psychiatry Inpatient Unit at Emory University Hospital, an ECT provider and has a treatment resistant depression outpatient clinic. He is co-investigator in the protocol for subgenual cingulate DBS in depression. 

Cynthia Maxwell, ASN, RN received her Registered Nursing degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in 2016. She joined the Emory Department of Psychiatry in 2013, working initially with Outpatient Geriatric Psychiatry as a LPN.  During her years in healthcare, she has worked in a variety of settings including home health, assisted living and rehab, Alzheimer's and dementia care, and Geriatric Psychiatry. Currently she works with the Neuromodulation team to assess patients, review medical records, and coordinate care for patients receiving ECT, Ketamine, and TMS.

For more information and registration for our ECT Course, please click here or call Michele L. Miles at (404) 712-6941. 


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