Debra Heck, MD

Service Chief, Adult Neuropsychiatry Unit; Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Center for Autism


  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Intellectual Disabilities

Debra Heck, MD, is service chief of Sheppard Pratt’s adult neuropsychiatry unit and a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Sheppard Pratt’s outpatient clinic and Center for Autism.  She studied pre-med at Goucher College, received her master’s degree in anatomy from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, and earned her medical degree at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Dr. Heck completed a residency in general psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry through the University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt program. Dr. Heck started working at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Towson in 2002.  She has worked with patients that have autism and intellectual disabilities in many different settings including child and adolescent inpatient units, residential treatment centers, and special education schools.  She has served in several roles at Sheppard Pratt over the past twenty years including service chief for the child and adolescent neuropsychiatry unit, as well as service chief for the child and adolescent day hospital and the child inpatient unit. During her time away from Sheppard Pratt, she served as medical director of the adolescent inpatient psychiatry unit at MedStar Franklin Square as well as assistant professor at the University of Maryland. 

Dr. Heck is board certified in both general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the Maryland Psychiatric Association. In 1997, Dr. Heck was awarded the Jacob Finesinger Award for excellence in psychiatry from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In 2019, she was awarded Sheppard Pratt’s prestigious Michael Edelstein, MD, Physician Humanitarian Award “in recognition of physicians who show unusual dedication to their work and consistently demonstrate extraordinary responsiveness to the needs of patients, family, colleagues, and co-workers.”