The TMS Difference at Olympia Center for TMS and Psychiatry
How to Choose a TMS Provider
Any provider you are considering for TMS treatment should be asked the following questions. Read our responses below and see how we’re a great choice for TMS treatment.
Where was your TMS provider trained?
On top of four years of medical school at the Vanderbilt University of Medicine, Dr. Penner completed over five years of additional medical training in residency and fellowship at Harvard Medical School. With relentless dedication, he completed his medical training by the age of 31 and started practicing in 2011 in his home state of Washington.
Does your physician perform all of the initial measurements and sit with patients during the first treatment?
The efficacy of TMS treatment relies heavily on getting patient measurements right the first time. Other providers often train their techs to do the initial measurements and calibrations. Dr. Penner personally performs all measurements and calibrations and sits with his patients during their initial treatment, adjusting measurements as needed.
Does your provider have a medical degree?
Unlike other TMS providers without medical degrees in the greater Olympia area, Dr. Penner holds a Medical Degree (MD).
Does your practice have dedicated staff members who are available for questions and concerns?
We have a dedicated clinic registered nurse (RN). We often fill positions and promote from within; many non-TMS staff members (managers, administrative personnel, and even our clinical director) are trained as TMS technicians. When you talk to someone at this clinic, there is a good chance they have direct TMS treatment experience even if you are calling about a different matter.
Is TMS the only treatment offered even if it’s not right for me?
No, Olympia Center for TMS and Psychiatry treats a multitude of different conditions. We are not a TMS “only” clinic. One of the risks of providing a single treatment is that it can lead to a one-size fits all solution that may not be the best treatment option for the patient. If a patient goes to a TMS clinic, that’s all they will get.
Having a broad range of experience in various modalities, Dr. Penner will assess each patient and make recommendations that best fit their unique needs rather than solely suggesting TMS treatment.
Does your provider consider other treatment options or possible diagnoses/ treatments that might exist?
Dr. Penner’s will consider all available options; if TMS is not the right fit, the patient will leave with a list of next-step recommendations to discuss with their current provider.
How long has your TMS provider been administering TMS?
Under Dr. Penner’s direct clinical supervision, he has administered an average of 8,000 treatments annually since 2019.
Is your TMS provider current on the evolving literature regarding treatment for other diagnoses such as PTSD, bipolar depression, etc.?
Dr. Penner has experience treating a wide variety of conditions including PTSD, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders. As TMS research is still rapidly evolving, Dr. Penner purposefully strives to stay up to date. It is not uncommon that he can answer a TMS related question today that was an unknown 4 months ago.
Does your provider monitor patients throughout treatment, making modifications if needed?
Many individuals undergoing treatment will have a normal and uneventful treatment experience. Anything other than that demonstrates the importance of individually evaluating your treatment plan and provider experience.
While Major Depressive Disorder has only been FDA approved for just a handful of different TMS protocols, with Dr. Penner frequently updating his knowledge with other types of TMS, a patient can benefit from newer forms of treatment that might augment their “garden variety” depression treatment.
Additionally, a patient will benefit from Dr. Penner’s experience in treating hundreds of individuals as if they have a course that isn’t typical. It is most likely something Dr. Penner has seen before, and that has worked. You benefit from the results and management of prior patients. Patients who have unique responses to TMS are a poorly studied population in the research setting. Dr. Penner is not aware of any studies that take the few outliers and study them scientifically. They are too uncommon to study in a research study. So basically, a provider treating individuals with TMS typically has far more experience in treating more individuals than some of the largest studies have done.
Does your provider treat patients with their best options in mind?
Dr. Penner believes everyone should be treated how he would want his family to be treated. If Dr. Penner believes a different type of treatment is the “best fit” for his patient or something else to try before TMS, he will provide them with the best options.
Dr. Penner frequently recommends other providers if another type of treatment is more suitable than what he offers. When a patient consults with Dr. Penner about TMS, they are consulting about it as one of their possible options.
The initial visit is simply a consultation about their options, not for treatment.