• A
  • A
  • A

Max Fink, M.D.




Max Fink, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology Emeritus

Phone: (631) 862-6651
E-mail: max.fink@ StonyBrook.Edu

Max Fink Archives:http://library.stonybrook.edu/digital-projects/max-fink-papers
Training:New York University College of Medicine, M.D. 1945
Residency training at Montefiore Hospital (1946-1947), Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital (1948-1951); Hillside Hospital (now LIJ Hillside Medical Center), 1952; Mt. Sinai Hospital (New York), 1953.
Certified in Neurology, American Board of Neurology & Psychiatry, 1952
Certified in Psychiatry, American Board of Neurology & Psychiatry, 1954 Certificate in Psychoanalysis, William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, 1953
Academic Positions:Director, Division of Experimental Psychiatry, Hillside Hospital, 1954-1962.
Research Professor, Washington University, St Louis, 1962-1966
  (Director, Missouri Institute of Psychiatry).
Professor of Psychiatry, New York Medical College, 1966-1972.
Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology, SUNY at Stony Brook 1972-1997;
Professor Emeritus, 1997- .
Professor of Psychiatry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1997 - 2005
Publications [Books]:

Shorter E. and Fink M. THE MADNESS OF FEAR: A History of Catatonia. NY: Oxford University Press, 2018

Shorter E. and Fink M. ENDOCRINE PSYCHIATRY: Solving the Riddle of Melancholia. NY: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Taylor MA and Fink M. MELANCHOLIA: The Diagnosis, Pathophysiology and Treatment of Depressive Illness. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Ottosson J-O. and Fink M. ETHICS IN ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY. New York: Brunner-Routledge, 2004.

Fink M and Taylor MA. CATATONIA: A Clinician's Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment.Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Fink M. ELECTROSHOCK: Restoring the Mind. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. [Re-issued paperback: ELECTROSHOCK: Healing Mental Illness, 2002.]

Fink M. CONVULSIVE THERAPY: Theory and Practice. New York: Raven Press, 1999.

Stefanis C, Dornbush R, Fink M. (Eds.):HASHISH: Studies of Long-Term Use. New York: Raven Press, 1977.

Bradley PB, Fink M. (Eds):ANTICHOLINERGIC DRUGS AND BRAIN FUNCTIONS IN ANIMALS AND MAN. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publ Co, vol 28: Progress in Brain Research, 1968.

Fink M. A Selected Bibliography of ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY IN HUMAN PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1964.

Journal Publications:> 800
Research Interests:Convulsive therapy (electroshock): Mechanisms of Action; Ethics
Treatment Specialties:Adult psychiatry
Electroconvulsive therapy
Biography:Dr. Fink received his M.D. from New York University College of Medicine in 1945. He served as a medical officer in the US Army, 1946-47. He was appointed Research Professor of Psychiatry at Washington University in 1962, and then at New York Medical College (1966 to 1972), and since 1972 at SUNY at Stony Brook, where he is Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology Emeritus.  Between  1997 and 2005 he has also been on the faculty at AECOM and the LIJ-Hillside Medical Center.

His studies of ECT began at Hillside Hospital in 1952, and he has published broadly on predictors of outcome in ECT, effects of seizures on EEG and speech, hypotheses of the mode of action, and how to achieve an effective treatment. In 1972, with Drs. Seymour Kety and James McGaugh, he organized an NIMH sponsored conference on the biology of convulsive therapy which resulted in the volume Psychobiology of Convulsive Therapy (1974). In 1979, he published the textbook Convulsive Therapy: Theory and Practice (Raven Press, 306 pp.).

In 1984, he established CONVULSIVE THERAPY, a quarterly scientific journal, published by Raven Press (renamed Journal of ECT). From 1975 to 1978, and again from 1987 to 1990, he was a member of the Task Forces on Electroconvulsive Therapy of the American Psychiatric Association. In 1995-1996, he chaired the Task Force on Ambulatory ECT of the Association for Convulsive Therapy. In 1999, he published the trade book ELECTROSHOCK: Restoring the Mind (Oxford University Press, NY) that was re-issued in paperback in 2002.

He has received many prize awards for his research in ECT and in EEG, including the Electroshock Research Award (1956), the A.E. Bennnett award of the Society of Biological Psychiatry (1958), the Anna Monika Prize award for research into depressive illness (1979), the Laszlo Meduna Prize of the Hungarian National Institute for Nervous and Mental Disease (1986), the Gold Medal award of the Society of Biological Psychiatry (1988), the Lifetime Achievement Awards of the Psychiatric Times (1995) and of the Society of Biological Psychiatry (1996), and the William Salmon Medal of the New York Academy of Medicine (2011).

In psychopharmacology, he established a classification of psychoactive drugs by digital computer analysis of EEG and has contributed to the effects of narcotic antagonists (naloxone, cyclazocine)  and of cannabis.

In 1997 he organized the 4-hospital collaborative study group known as CORE under grants from NIMH. That group compared the merits of continuation ECT with continuation lithium and nortriptyline in depressed patients who responded to bitemporal ECT.

In 1980, Dr. Fink became interested in catatonia, identifying its many varieties and its effective treatments, and encouraging its consideration as a distinct systemic medical illness. 

Dr. Fink lives in Nissequogue, New York.