A photo of David Nelson.

Medical Director, Child Psychiatry Unit

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

513-636-4124

Board Certified

"It’s important for me to be able to help families that are mourning, especially when they are dealing with healthcare challenges."

About Me

Biography

I work with children and families dealing with trauma and other emotional and health challenges. As the medical director of the child psychiatry unit at Cincinnati Children’s, I help families discover a path of growth and development. As we learn to heal, we also learn to cope with adversity. It’s important for me to be able to help families that are mourning, especially when they are dealing with healthcare challenges.

My patients see me for a wide range of child psychiatry conditions, including:

  • Addiction
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Bipolar and mood disorders
  • Forensic medicine
  • Severe aggression
  • Suicide
  • Trauma, from abuse or man-made and natural disasters
  • Tuberous sclerosis, a genetic condition that causes noncancerous tumors in the brain and other parts of the body

I provide inpatient and outpatient diagnoses and treatments. Through my research, my patients get access to the most advanced care.

As Dr. Dan, I’ve always enjoyed working with children who have unique challenges. I grew up living with hemophilia and dyslexia and spent lots of time at the children’s hospital in Oklahoma City. I worked in a pediatrician’s office for five years while I was in high school. Later, I studied early childhood education and family relations.

As a founding and advisory board member of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, I’ve appreciated the chance to travel to disaster and crisis areas. Along with other psychiatrists and psychologists, I was able to help children and families cope after the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and after the Oklahoma City bombing.

These incidents provide the chance to design better interventions and care during a crisis. After the Oklahoma City bombing, I supervised the Family Notification Center, which I designed to offer comprehensive psychological support to minimize the effects of trauma.

I also train and educate others on how to respond to trauma. In 1999, I worked with teachers and counselors after a tornado killed four people in the Cincinnati area, destroying dozens of homes.

I’m truly humbled to have received multiple awards for teaching medical students. I try to create a positive and enriching learning environment. I aim to teach them patience, so they can best understand how their interactions with children and families can lead to healing. I also encourage them to explore mutual decision-making with their patients.

When I’m not seeing patients or teaching, I love to hike and bike. I also enjoy playing tennis and listening to music.

Clinical Interests

Inpatient and outpatient child psychiatry diagnosis, treatment and research; bipolar and mood disorders; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; childhood trauma; behavioral disorders

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Divisions

Psychiatry, Tuberous Sclerosis

My Locations

My Education

MD: University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 1985.

Residency: Medical Center Hospital / Audie Murphy, San Antonio, TX, 1987.

Fellowship: San Antonio Children's Center, Southwest Neuropsychiatric Institute, San Antonio, TX, 1989.

Certification: General Psychiatry, 1992; Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1994.