Descartes Li, MD

Director, Bipolar Program
Director, Electroconvulsive Therapy Program

Dr. Descartes Li is a psychiatrist who specializes in treating patients with bipolar disorder and those receiving electroconvulsive therapy. He is the director of the UCSF Bipolar Program as well as the UCSF Electroconvulsive Therapy Program.

Li's research interests include bipolar disorder, electroconvulsive therapy and medical education. He also gives numerous talks and presentations in both academic and community settings.

Li earned his medical degree from UCSF, where he also completed a residency in psychiatry. He is a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCSF. He is a member of the Association for Academic Psychiatry, International Society for Bipolar Disorders, International Society for Electroconvulsive Therapy and Neurostimulation, American Psychiatric Association and Northern California Psychiatric Society.


Psychiatry Clinic
401 Parnassus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 476-7500
Fax: (415) 502-6361

Conditions & Treatments

  • Bipolar Disorder

Board Certification

Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Academic Title


More about Descartes Li

Additional Languages



UCSF School of Medicine 1993


UCSF Medical Center, Psychiatry 1997

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Bourgeois JA, Li D, Hategan A. Recurrent Klazomania Responsive to Acute Plus Maintenance Electroconvulsive Therapy. J ECT. 2018 Apr 23.
  2. Harvey AG, Soehner AM, Kaplan KA, Hein K, Lee J, Kanady J, Li D, Rabe-Hesketh S, Ketter TA, Neylan TC, Buysse DJ. Treating insomnia improves mood state, sleep, and functioning in bipolar disorder: a pilot randomized controlled trial. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2015 Jun; 83(3):564-77.
  3. Li D, Hall SE, Tong LD, Rollins MD. The electroconvulsive therapy and anesthesia exercise (ECTAE): the creation of an interdisciplinary learning activity for medical students. J ECT. 2013 Sep; 29(3):214-8.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.