Article first published online: 8 FEB 2010
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 121, Issue 3, page 240, March 2010
How to Cite
Munk-Jørgensen, P. (2010), Biography. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 121: 240. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01468.x
- Issue published online: 8 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 8 FEB 2010
Max Fink State University of New York at Stony Brook PO Box 457 St James NY 11780-0457 USA
Born in Vienna in 1923, the son of a physician and social worker, he came to the USA at age 2 years and was schooled in New York City, receiving BA and MD from New York University in 1942 and 1945. After service as a medical officer in the US Army, 1946–1947, he was certified as a specialist in neurology (1952), psychoanalysis (1953) and psychiatry (1954).
He began his studies of electroshock in 1952. In 1972, he organized a conference on the biology of convulsive therapy, under NIMH auspices which resulted in the volume Psychobiology of Convulsive Therapy (1974). In 1979, he published his textbook Convulsive Therapy: Theory and Practice (NY: Raven Press). In 1984, he established the quarterly scientific journal Convulsive Therapy (now the Journal of ECT).
He was a member of the Task Forces on Electroconvulsive Therapy of the American Psychiatric Association in 1997 and 1990. In 1995–1996, he chaired the Task Force on Ambulatory ECT of the Association for Convulsive Therapy. His trade book Electroshock: Restoring the Mind was published in 1999 and re-issued in a second edition as Electroconvulsive Therapy: A Guide for Practitioners and their Patients in 2009 (New York: Oxford University Press). With Jan-Otto Ottosson of Goteborg he wrote Ethics in Electroconvulsive Therapy in 2004 (NY: Brunner Routledge).
Lately, his interest has been in psychopathology and, with Michael A. Taylor, has published Catatonia: A Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment in 2003 and Melancholia: The Diagnosis, Pathophysiology and Treatment of Depressive Disorders in 2006. Both books were published by Cambridge University Press.
He has also done extensive studies in psychopharmacology, quantitative electrophysiology and is a specialist in the EEG effects of psychoactive drugs; computer analysis of EEG; and in substance abuse (effects of narcotic antagonists and of cannabis). He has received numerous prize awards for his research into the mode of action and improvements in ECT.
He is Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at SUNY at Stony Brook since 1972, and emeritus since 1997.