The third annual Clinical TMS Society meeting recently concluded in Toronto, and was one of the most stimulating and exciting meetings I have attended since the early days of Behavior Therapy. At the first Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies AABT meeting I attended in 1970, there were a group of psychologists who recognized the potential of behavior therapy and met to share their information and visit with others in this burgeoning field. That same atmosphere permeated the TMS Society meeting as many of the primary researchers in TMS, as well as many leading clinicians in the country, were there to present their data, share their experiences, and establish relationships with other professionals they had not previously met.
The meeting had a poster session the first evening, which certainly provided me with more usable information than I have received from any poster session I can remember. It also provided a chance to meet the presenters, have questions answered and, in many cases, begin new friendships. In subsequent blogs, I plan to discuss some of this research and the people behind them. I returned home with clear modifications I can make in my practice which will immediately benefit my patients and I, again, will share these over time.
Having belonged to, been president of and participated as a committee member for many organizations, I am aware of all the hard work that goes into putting on an excellent meeting. It should be known that from this attendee’s perspective, there was not a single glitch in the program. I have come to learn that when a program occurs seamlessly, this means there are dynamic forces behind the scenes working extremely hard and getting little sleep during the conference, to ensure the success of the program.
The TMS Society is blessed to have an executive director of such quality and experience named Nina Cudney. Nina is a very bright, pretty, energetic and competent woman who masterfully manages the wide range of powerful academicians and clinicians like a kind lion-tamer at the zoo, except without the whip. She greets everyone with the same affectionate smile that makes them feel comfortable and included, whether they are the keynote speaker or a person she has never met before. She was in constant movement to make sure the small details of the conference flowed smoothly and the result, again, was a seamless meeting. Under her leadership and hard work, the Society has grown every year. Although TMS has been around in research for over 30 years, it is still in its infancy in terms of office based clinical practice.Despite the fact our industry sponsored workshops, meetings and training seminars are excellent occasions to pick the brains of other people concerning equipment, the medical companies are under FDA requirement to only speak about information for which their product is indicated. BecauseNeuromodulation is at the foundation of treatment in patients with virtually every condition, there is exciting research being conducted outside the FDA indication of treatment for major depression. Being at the Society meeting, I had the opportunity to speak with a number of physicians treating conditions ranging from postpartum depression, depression during pregnancy, obsessive compulsive disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, tinnitus, pain and various other areas. This information can only be passed along from individual to individual. As it is said that most research is two years behind treatment protocols, the Society remains an excellent place to share ideas and learn of the work being done by colleagues, well before this information is published in the literature.
For any practitioner who owns a TMS chair, I would strongly recommend they join and participate in the TMS Society. Many colleagues work in major metropolitan areas or in university settings where they can meet and discuss TMS treatment, protocols, results and any other issues that come up. But there are also many of us who are practitioners without other colleagues close to us to visit with, discuss issues with and from whom we can learn. The TMS Society is an excellent place to make these contacts as you will meet people who are excited about this new technology and who are trying to bring the best patient care possible to very difficult psychiatric conditions. I promise it will be the best $350 you spend this year.
Robert Sammons, M.D., Ph.D.
Mesa Behavioral Medicine
Co-Founder & Medical Director - TMS Solutions
If you or a loved one is depressed; if current treatment isn't giving the desired outcome or quality of life, you may be a candidate for TMS Therapy for the treatment of depression. Check out the "About TMS Therapy" page and other resources at www.tmssolutions.com
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