Interventional Psychiatry and Neurotechnologies: Education and Ethics Training

Can J Neurol Sci. 2023 Jun;50(s1):s10-s16. doi: 10.1017/cjn.2023.27. Epub 2023 May 10.


The last two decades have seen dramatic growth in the application of procedurally based interventions for treating refractory psychiatric conditions, leading to interest in developing the foundations for the subspecialty of "Interventional Psychiatry." However, there is cause for concern that the rate of expansion of clinical advances in this field may be outpacing the ability of postgraduate curricula to provide sufficient exposure to and teaching and supervision of these treatments. The paucity of adequately trained practitioners in Interventional Psychiatry further exacerbates inequities in the ability of eligible patients to access and benefit from these approaches. This paper explores the rates of utilization of Interventional Psychiatry treatments, the current state of education in these treatments, and the role that training can play in translating scientific advances in this area to ensure equitable access and maximum impact at a population level. The majority of the discussion is centered on electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the most established and available of these treatments, highlighting how enhancing education and training in ECT can reduce barriers to its utilization. It is argued that innovations in pedagogical approaches for disseminating the learning of these procedures are needed to increase the current low rates of competency in these treatments and can facilitate the more rapid dissemination of other Interventional Psychiatry approaches and neurotechnologies, such as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, ketamine, deep brain stimulation, and focused ultrasound.

Keywords: Education; Interventional Psychiatry; Neuromodulation; Neurotechnology; Postgrad medical education; Psychiatry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Humans
  • Ketamine*
  • Mental Disorders* / therapy
  • Psychiatry*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation


  • Ketamine