A photo of David Nelson.

Daniel A. Nelson, MD

  • Medical Director, Child Psychiatry Unit
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
  • Board Certified
It’s important for me to be able to help families that are mourning, especially when they are dealing with healthcare challenges.
Daniel A. Nelson, MD



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.

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.


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

Services and Specialties

Psychiatry, Tuberous Sclerosis

Insurance Information

Cincinnati Children's strives to accept a wide variety of health plans. Please contact your health insurance carrier to verify coverage for your specific benefit plan.

View Insurance Information

Patient Ratings and Comments

All patient satisfaction ratings and comments are submitted by actual patients and verified by a leading independent patient satisfaction company, NRC Health. Patient identities are withheld to ensure confidentiality and privacy. Only those providers whose satisfaction surveys are administered through Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center are displayed. Click here to learn more about our survey

Overall Patient Rating