rTMS treatment – what to expect when you’re starting therapy

sydney tms dr pace demonstrating

Thinking about booking your rTMS treatment course? Read our step by step outline on how to book and what to expect, or just give us a call.

Before your first appointment:

  1. Visit your doctor for a referral to Sydney TMS
  2. Call Sydney TMS on 1300 177 144 to book an rTMS treatment assessment with our TMS psychiatrist, Dr Jason Pace.
  3. Email your referral to info@sydneytms.com.au.

What to bring to your first assessment:

  1. Bring along your referral, any information from your treating doctor and your medicare card along to your first assessment.
  2. If Doctor Pace advises that TMS is suitable for you and you are happy to proceed to treatment a mapping session will immediately follow your assessment. Alternatively, the mapping session can be booked for another day and time. It’s entirely up to you!
  3. If you like you can also bring a support person with you.

The Mapping Session:

  1. Our Psychiatrist will take measurements of your head to tailor the rTMS treatment to your individual specifications. The treatment will target the part of the brain that requires the neurones to be stimulating. You will also be given a series of questionnaires to complete so that we have a baseline of numerical data that can be used to make comparisons with during your treatment. Dr Pace will then prescribe your personal rTMS treatment course.

Treatment Courses:

  1. A TMS course with us is made up of 30 standard sessions. Each session takes up to 30 minutes each. We recommend a minimum of 3 sessions per week to ensure the effectiveness of TMS treatment, in line with the current research findings.
  2. We will also send a letter to your referring doctor to inform them we have commenced TMS therapy.
  3. You book in a series of appointments with our TMS technician and start your rTMS treatment journey.


  1. During your treatment with us, Dr Pace will see you for your psychiatric reviews. A treatment review is booked in for the halfway mark and another is booked in for the end of the course. You will be asked to complete a series of questionnaire at the halfway point and at the end of the course.
  2. At the end of your course a letter will be forwarded to your treating doctor.

Medicare and Billing:

  1. TMS assessment with our psychiatrist will be bulk billed for your initial consultation provided you have your referral and medicare card.
  2. TMS session mapping session and treatment sessions will be charged per session. If you should meet the medicare criteria, you will benefit from a medicare rebate, but please note an out pocket amount will be payable per treatment as you go.

Medicare criteria:

  1. Over 18 years of age.
  2. Have not received rTMS treatment prior to 1 November 2021.
  3. Diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, Chronic Depression.
  4. Have tried 2 or more medications for depression with no success.
  5. Please note, that a diagnosis other than Depression is not covered by medicare (e.g., OCD)

Side Effects:

  1. Side effects are uncommon, but can include headaches, scalp irritation, fatigue.
  2. There is also the rare possibility of seizure (less than 1%) and comparable to that of most antidepressant medications. (as published on Dec 7, 2020, “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Safety with Respect to Seizures: A Literature Review  by  Debra J Stultz,1 Savanna Osburn,1 Tyler Burns,1 Sylvia Pawlowska-Wajswol,1 and Robin Walton1  ).


  1. TMS has been approved by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration. Studies have shown a 50-70% response rate to TMS for those with Treatment Resistant Depression.


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