The success of TMS treatment is not just a result of the technology, but also of you, the patient, and the provider. Earlier this month, we shined a spotlight on Dr. Heather Kurera, one of Achieve TMS’ talented psychiatrists. Today, we talked to John Baldrias, one of our board-certified family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. With over 24 years of experience, John has a wealth of knowledge that we wanted to tap into. In this interview, we take a deeper look at his passion for TMS treatment and helping those who suffer from depression.
What is one personal or fun fact about you that patients would enjoy getting to know?
I have 2 kids, I enjoy being active (outdoor activities, working out, playing basketball). I am a die-hard Chicago Bulls fan as I was raised in Chicago. On the weekends I like to spend time with my family, exercising, shopping, or eating at a nice restaurant.
What inspired you to become a healthcare professional within the mental health space?
I happened to fall into the mental health field inadvertently. When I graduated high school, my mom wanted me to stay out of trouble and to get a job. She was the nursing supervisor at a local psychiatric hospital. She spoke to the Director of Nursing about getting me a part time job working night shift. I was hired at age 19 and I have been mental health since then (more than 25 years).
What drew you to TMS treatment and working with TMS patients?
I first became interested in TMS when starting my private practice. I had done some research regarding alternative treatments for treatment resistant depression. TMS especially interested me because it was a non-pharmacological treatment option that I could offer my patients.
What do you find most rewarding about working with TMS patients?
What I find most rewarding about working with TMS patients is seeing the drastic improvement in their depression when all other treatments have otherwise failed.
Why should a patient choose TMS over other treatments for depression, anxiety, and OCD?
It is an alternative treatment to the usual pharmacological and therapy options. It is safe and effective, and it has a very low side effect profile.
What recommendations would you make to a patient thinking about trying TMS treatment for the first time?
I would encourage them to seriously consider it, especially if they have been suffering from depression and/or anxiety for a long time. Several of my patients’ symptoms have significantly improved with TMS.