Training and certification

It is surprising that, for a procedure so technical and complicated, a psychiatrist is not required to obtain special experience or certification. Unfortunately, training is haphazard. ECT is rarely taught in medical school. In the United States, many hospitals where doctors do their residency training pay no attention to ensuring competence. Because psychiatry board authorities in the United States make no provision in their guidelines for training in ECT, and do not query a candidate's competence in it, the hospitals have little incentive in providing an adequate experience. Practitioners who wish to gain skill in this discipline learn at the risk of their early patients, or seek a preceptorship, or participate in the occasional week-long course provided at a few training sites in the United States. From time to time courses are organized by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the United Kingdom, and by practitioners in Australia and Europe. These are generally announced on the website http:l//www.§J,§

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