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Debra M O'Donnell, MD


brain tumors, dysautonomia


Debra M. O'Donnell, MD is a pediatric neurologist at Dayton Children's Hospital.

education and training

  • medical school: Indiana University
  • internship: Riley Hospital for Children - IU Health
  • residency: Baylor College of Medicine - child neurology
  • fellowship: Baylor College of Medicine - epilepsy
  • board certification: American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with special qualifications in child neurology

awards, honors and organizations

  • awards:
    • 1999-2000 KCMS Faculty Teaching Award
    • EFA Flame of Hope Award, November 2003
  • organization member:
    • American Academy of Neurology
    • Child Neurology Society
    • American Epilepsy Society

get to know me

I chose my specialty because...

I really enjoyed learning about the details of neuroanatomy, neurochemistry and how it all fits together in a somewhat predictable way while at the same time being the foundation of each of our own individual uniqueness. To see the book work and lab work translated into helping patients overcome abnormalities in the nervous system, brought the human aspect to the science of medicine and made the "puzzle solving" a more personal endeavor.

I like working with kids because...

while I don't like seeing children become ill or suffer, I have found that their spirit and resilience is inspiring. I've also observed (and as a parent experienced first hand) how much more motivated adults may be in seeking help for their child over themselves. We should all take care of our own health but partnering with highly motivated parents and being inspired by patients that are children brings extra energy to any problem and helps us strategize as a team in our quest for healing.

I chose to work at Dayton Children's because...

I was immediately impressed by the focus on the patient and emphasis on quality care. The field of medicine has grown so complex and requires a substantial group of well trained professionals to implement a plan. I found a real sense of team spirit and patient prioritization from everyone I met at Dayton Children's Hospital.

Dayton Children's is special because...

there is a real commitment to providing quality care to the children of the community it serves. The patients, parents, technicians, nurses, physicians, etc are also neighbors and fellow citizens. There is a real spirit of taking good care of "our own backyard" and the children playing in it.

ratings and reviews

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Dr Debra O'Donnell takes her time and really listens to the patient and mostly to the parents who are their advocates. She is great with kids! We love her.

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Dr. O'Donnell was very thorough and invested in my son's care. She gave me tons of good information and all of her attention. This is our first time dealing with a concussion and I was obviously very upset and scared for my son and she put all of my fears at ease and reached out to me on multiple occasions to check on him and was sure to make sure that he got the best care from her. And she didn't just pass them off to someone else when she easily could have. I appreciate it everything she did for him and for us, and I would definitely recommend her in the future and not hesitate to come back to her should we ever need her. So, no, offense to her, I hope we don't ever have to come back.

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My daughter is a teenager, and she can be stubborn. I appreciated the way the nurses and doctors spoke to her-respectfully, kindly, but from a place of expertise. They hit just the right note with her.

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The Dr. & staff is very friendly & courteous. They explain things in ways for us to understand. As a former housekeeper I check for cleanliness. From my experience with that they appear to do a fantastic job in the areas we were in as well. :)

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conditions I treat

Brain tumors, Cerebral palsy, Chronic headache, Development delay, Dysautonomia, Epilepsy, Febrile seizures, Guillain-Barre syndrome, Headaches, Infantile spasms, Muscular dystrophy

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