Board Certified Child &
25 years of clinical experience as physician
Debra Koss, M.D. is a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist with more than 25 years clinical experience. She is a clinical assistant professor with the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, New Jersey. In addition, she has provided direct clinical services through her private practice, consulted to local schools and collaborated with pediatricians in child psychiatry access programs.
Dr. Koss completed her fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and her residency in General Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. She received her medical degree from the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, and received her undergraduate degree from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia.
Dr. Koss is a distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). She is currently serving as Secretary of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and is Immediate Past President of the New Jersey Psychiatric Association (NJPA). Dr. Koss is also Chair of the NJPA Council on Advocacy and member of the APA Council on Advocacy and Government Relations.
Dr. Koss is a steadfast advocate for children and youth with mental illness and has provided testimony advocating for improved access to quality mental health treatment with both state and federal legislators. She has utilized her expertise as a physician to educate lawmakers about neuroscience and the impact of mental illness on childhood development.
Dr. Koss has been recognized by her peers and consumer advocates for her clinical expertise and compassion for her patients, her accomplishments in mental health advocacy, and her skill in teaching and mentoring young physicians. Awards include:
- National Alliance on Mental Illness Exemplary Psychiatrist Award (2011)
- AACAP Catchers in the Rye Award for Mental Health Advocacy (2011, 2013. 2014)
- New Jersey Psychiatric Association Remarkable Achievement Award (2013, 2014)
- APA Resident Fellow Member Mentor Award (2016)
- Rutgers RWJMS Voluntary Faculty Mentorship Award (2016)
Specialties & Qualifications
Psychiatrists diagnose and treat mental illness, such as depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and schizophrenia. Most psychiatrists rely on a mix of medications and psychotherapy.
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Education & Training
University of Massachusetts
Fellowship , Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
University of Virginia School of Medicine
Certifications & Licensure
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Certified in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
NJ State Medical License
Active through 2019
Experience. Excellence. Compassion.
- Psychiatric Medication for Teens & YouthNeuroscience research has improved our understanding of brain development and mental illness in youth.
- Psychiatric Depression & Teenage AngstWhen dealing with a moody adolescent, parents and teachers will often ask, “Isn’t this just part of being a teenager?”
- ADHD and the Impact on LearningAttention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood illness. Approximately 11% of grade-school students have ADHD.
- Suicide & Self InjuryLearning that your child is feeling hopeless, thinking about suicide, or intentionally hurting themselves can leave a parent feeling helpless or frightened.
- Managing Disruptive BehaviorChildren who experience repeated tantrums or outbursts, can cause serious disruption in their families and their classrooms.
- Children & AnxietySome forms of anxiety can be adaptive. For instance, a student who worries about their performance on a test may spend quality time studying for that test.
- Overcoming School RefusalMany students will experience a brief period when they don’t want to go to school but actual school refusal continues for a longer time, is associated with more avoidant behavior and causes more distress or worry for the child.
- Integrated Collaborative CareChildren’s overall health is dependent on physical as well as mental health.