CLASS OF 2025

JUST THE BEGINNING

University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine

Brett Armstrong

Hey guys, I’m Brett! I’m originally from the smallest state in the country, Rhode Island, went to undergrad in Massachusetts at Stonehill College, and then got an MPH from Boston University. Even after all those classes, I wasn’t done yet and knew I wanted to pursue medicine, so I went to the University of New England for med school. After working as an ER tech and spending time in EDs during my third year, I knew EM was where I needed to be. During my fourth year, I was fortunate to rotate at Copa and fell in love with the program, the people, and Phoenix. The incredible county training, awesome patient population, and family vibe between residents, attendings, and staff are just a few reasons why I wanted to do my residency here! My wife and I enjoy hiking with our cattle dog, Ayla, playing tennis, and checking out craft breweries so we are definitely planning to keep up these hobbies at Copa. Within EM, I am especially interested in critical care, public health, and wilderness medicine. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!

Indiana University School of Medicine

Sarah Bruns

Hi everyone! My name is Sarah and I was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. I spent a few years in southern Indiana at Indiana University Bloomington finishing my major in Biology and dabbling in a fine art minor solely for the fun of it. I then moved up north to become apart of the Fighting Irish at the IUSM Notre Dame Campus for the first two years of medical school. Finally, I finished out my last two years of my medical degree in Indianapolis. As you can tell, I’ve spent my entire life in Indiana and have tried my best to escape the dreary cold seasons it has made me endure. I was excited for an opportunity to catch some serotonin filled sunshine in a new home away from home! I felt Copa gave me that feeling immediately. I always had an interest in Emergency Medicine but learning about the multitude of career paths you can take in this field is what sealed the deal for me. I’m excited for what these next 3 years will hold! In my free time you’ll find me trying new coffee shops, tending to my half-alive plants, painting/drawing, being outside doing anything, and adventuring with my dog Buddy who is a 1.5 year old lab mix!

Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine

Jose Edgington

Hello there! My name is Jose, and I am super stoked to be a part of the ‘Copa family. I am originally from Phoenix, but wanted to sprout my wings and have been on the east coast for the past decade. I lived in Virginia for several years, after attending undergrad at the University of Richmond, where I ran track and field (go spiders!). I took a couple of gap years and worked a sales job in Washington DC, and then re-committed to returning to my dream of practicing medicine. I attended the Hackensack Meridian SOM, where I fell in love with emergency medicine and I am so excited to now be coming back to the Southwest and all it has to offer! I truly am so happy to have matched at ‘Copa as it possesses the best combination of all aspects I was seeking in my Emergency Medicine training— an incredibly strong training environment, a family feel that was like no other on the interview trail (this really stood out to me during a virtual season) and a commitment to uplifting my hometown of Phoenix. In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my two Golden puppers (Frosty and Willow), exploring hikes with my significant other, and trying out local breweries. I also enjoy making my own nitro infused coffee and exploring different cultures through food. I am looking forward to the next 3 years at ‘Copa and creating friends for the rest of my life! If you have any questions on why ‘Copa is the best program for you, feel free to shoot me a message!

University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

Ethan Erickson

Hey, I’m Ethan. Born and raised in Northern Utah. I lived a short stint in Houston and did medical school in San Antonio. Growing up in Utah I developed a love and respect for all things outdoors. I especially enjoy mountain biking, snowboarding, backpacking, and fishing the high Uintas. I also enjoy playing soccer, pickleball, woodworking, and building things that are usually beyond my competency level. From a medical standpoint I am interested in wilderness medicine, search and rescue, and ultrasound. I live with three beautiful ladies (ages 27, 4, and 1) who keep me happy and stressed all at the same time. I chose COPA for the down to earth, quality training and geographical location. I also knew this is where I would be the happiest during residency. When I rotated here (during the back end of COVID Delta variant) the world was falling apart, but in the doc box there were still good times to be had by all. Whatever chaos is to come in the next three years, this is a crew that will roll with the punches, save lives, and have a good time doing it.

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

Alex Foster

Hey there MedStuds! I’m Alex and I was born and raised on a little family farm in Gilbert, AZ. I decided to move down to the Dirty T for undergrad where I studied physiology at The University of Arizona (Bear Down!). In college I dabbled in competitive ballroom dancing, amateur canyoneering, sorority life, and being an athletic trainer for the football team. When I was applying to medical school, I wanted to venture out of the desert and finally see snow. Luckily wild, wonderful, West Virginia accepted me. I couldn’t have asked for a better medical school experience at WVSOM but missed the sunshine, my family (especially my twin), and all the year-round activities Arizona offers. Naturally ‘Copa felt like a perfect program and checked all the boxes I was looking for: wild west county program, longitudinal PEDS, burn ICU, and 3 elective months to help me find my niche. You name it, ‘Copa’s got it. Add on all the fun, down to earth humans you get to work with, and you’ve got the best residency in the country. You guessed it! Like most of my fellow residents I love anything outdoors in addition to bodybuilding and spoiling my golden retriever, Piper. If you’re here, you’re in the right place. And whether you get to visit in person or have to meet over zoom, you will sense the good vibes and comradery that makes ‘Copa so special!

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Meg Free

Hey everyone, I’m Meg and am originally from just outside of Portland, Oregon! I spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest and finished my undergrad at University of Oregon (Go Ducks!). In between college and medical school, I spent most of my free time traveling. Some of my memorable activities included paragliding in Chile, caving in New Zealand, eating Thai food in Thailand, learning Spanish in Barcelona, and bungee jumping in Peru. I went to medical school in Colorado where I got to do all of my favorite (classic Emergency Medicine) outdoor activities including snowboarding, skiing, hiking, running, rafting, and camping. On the occasional stormy day I enjoy vegetarian cooking, playing board games or cards, restaurant hopping and consistently losing at trivia. I did a sub internship at Copa and knew I had found my next home. I met amazing residents and was able to see how Copa allows them to grow into competent and compassionate emergency medicine physicians. I appreciated the hands-on learning environment (even as a medical student), the varied patient population and the enthusiasm of everyone to always teach. I also was able to experience the Copa culture and just how much fun the residents have even when they are working. I am excited to join the Copa family and work hard and play hard for my next 3 years in residency.

Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Hunter Hoopes

Hey everybody, I’m Hunter Hoopes! (No, I’m not really much of a hunter, and no I don’t play basketball). I grew up in Mesa, Arizona and lived in the Valley basically my entire life. I went to medical school in Kansas City, and after my first winter there, I knew the desert is where I belong. While working as a scribe in Scottsdale before med school I had the opportunity to work alongside ‘Copa residents and alumni. They were hands down some of the coolest people that I have ever met, and I knew I wanted to be a part of this amazing organization! Outside of medicine I enjoy spending time with my wife and two crazy (but cute) kiddos. Like emergency medicine, I like to do a little bit of everything and love fishing, hiking, traveling, baseball, football, and basically anything outdoors. My real passion though is music, and I am a wannabe metalcore/djent guitarist. If you know what djent is, then I guarantee we will get along just fine. Rock on!

Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

Rex Mei

Hey guys! I’m Rex. Welcome to the Copa website! I am originally from China and lived in Singapore for a few years before moving to California. Fun fact – I picked my name when I first moved here when I was 8 years old because I was super into dinosaurs at the time. Anyway, I went to UC San Diego for undergrad and then Western University for medical school. I love traveling and seeking out new experiences (have been to over 20 countries) so when it came time for residency I knew I wanted to move out of state for a change. Maricopa immediately stood out to me because it is one of the few 3-year county programs out there. Although I was pretty skeptical about virtual interviews, I was very impressed by how friendly and approachable all the residents and faculty were and I’m sure you will feel the same. Outside of medicine I enjoy traveling, hiking, photography, and live music (some of my favorite artists are Rufus, Odesza, and SG Lewis). Phoenix really has all of that to offer and more so that sealed the deal. Everyone always says to trust your gut and I came out of my interview day with the feeling that this would be the right place for me. I hope you do too! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

Indiana University School of Medicine

Sean Mulligan

Hey everyone! I’m Sean and I am from Chandler, just outside of Phoenix. I had a fantastic childhood growing up in the desert but after 18 years, I wanted a change of scenery. So I ventured east for college and medical school by the ways of Colorado State University and Indiana University School of Medicine. Although it was an awesome time to explore the Rocky Mountains and the Midwest, I quickly realized how much I missed the sun and heat and realized that I am, and always will be, an AZ kid at heart. So to say I am stoked to return to The Valley is a huge understatement. In my free time, I love to hike, run, tube down the Salt River, cook, check out breweries, and get my hopes up for the Cardinals and Suns to win a championship one day. But enough about the awesome location, I also chose Copa for how awesome of a program it is. From the breadth of training in managing critically ill patients, diverse patient population, autonomy, faculty passion for teaching, and dedicated elective time in each year, there is no doubt that the training will prepare me to become the physician I aspire to be. My interview day was awesome. It is very apparent how tight-knit the residents are with each other/faculty and was definitely a standout! I am very excited to not only work with these rock stars, but to hang out with them outside of the department. I know that you all have plenty of outstanding programs to choose from so thanks for checking us out! I could not be more excited to join this top-notch program and hope you will consider us for your training.

The University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix

Cornel Popescu

Salut! I’m Cornel, and I grew up in Bucharest, Romania, but spent most of my childhood outdoors on my grandma’s farm in a small village north of Bucharest. The mix of city and country still flows through my veins. When I was 14 my family immigrated to Chicago as political refugees. Ultimately, I arrived in Phoenix after spending my college years in Tucson. Bear Down! One of my favorite things about Phoenix is that it has a city vibe while surrounded by easy access to the outdoors. Want to hike or mountain bike? There’s usually a trail within a 10-minute drive. Want to relax in the pines, go camping in the mountains, fish, play in the snow or go skiing? Those are less than 2 hours away. Are you in lock-down during a pandemic and craving amazing thai food? I think you see my point, the best of both worlds. To me, Copa’s EM program also has the perfect blend of experiences. Copa prides itself on being a phenomenal county hospital for the greater Phoenix area and supports residents who want to learn both rural and urban medicine. Beyond the training, the culture within the EM residency program is unmatched; every program says it, but Copa feels like family. But why should you believe me? My path to medicine was nontraditional, I worked for several years after college before getting my MPH and then going to medical school at University of Arizona’s Phoenix campus. My wonderful wife was pregnant with our oldest daughter when we found out I was accepted to medical school. We had our second daughter right before the pandemic hit, and we were fortunate to be in Phoenix where most of our family lives to help us navigate medical school, employment (my wife’s an attorney) and homeschooling. Because of the pandemic, the importance of family and community shot to the top of our list when looking at residency programs. You know it when you see it, and Copa has it. Copa was our top choice and I know once you check out the program, you’ll see that it will easily become your top choice too.

Washington State University - Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Joshua Rayburn

Hey everyone! My name is Josh. I was born, raised and educated in Washington state, and am beyond excited to be relocating to Arizona and be part of the Copa fam. I did my undergrad at the University of Washington, spent a few years researching lung cancer and end-of-life care, and then finished medical school at Washington State University ESFCOM. EM has always felt like the natural choice for me, which was likely sparked by countless visits to the ED throughout my life from sports injuries and from the chaos of growing up with four older brothers. Specific interests of mine in the field of EM include sports medicine and event medicine. In college I was the captain of the UW rugby team and continued to play for the Seattle Saracens premier rugby team after graduating. After getting tired of practicing outside in the relentless Seattle rain, I pivoted to indoor sports and have dabbled in jiu jitsu and a number of other rec sports. My wiener dog Bailey is the best hiking partner and napping partner I could ask for. Other things I enjoy include cooking, weightlifting, board games, painting, breweries, margaritas, and trying endlessly to keep my plants and fish alive. Some of the key things that drew me to Maricopa were the program’s overall reputation, culture of camaraderie, diverse patient county population, opportunities to learn medical Spanish, elective months, sunshine, and of course the awesome faculty and enthusiastic residents I met during my interview. I hope you enjoy learning about this program as much as I did!

Florida State University College of Medicine

Joey Rudy

Hi guys! I’m Joey. I was born in Singapore but grew up my entire life in South Florida. As a classic Florida man (I’m kidding, I’m not that interesting), I spent a lot of time at the beach, playing tennis, and being outdoors. I went to the University of Florida for undergrad- Go Gators! I changed my allegiance for medical school and went to Florida State. Loved my time at both universities and now I do not actively root against the Noles. I chose Copa based on the excellent EM reputation/alumni network, strong pediatrics exposure with longitudinal PEM and unique PEM experiences in all three years, diversity of not only county but also academic/community sites, and the ability to have electives in each year so I can explore my interests early on. Phoenix is also a really cool location with an affordable COL for out west. Interviewing virtually, I placed a good emphasis on programs where I could envision myself grabbing a beer with residents. Copa was just that. I also have never shoveled snow in my life and needed to live in a warm place. Thanks for checking out our program, feel free to reach out anytime!

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Griffith Saunders

What’s up guys, I’m Griff. I was born and raised in buckeye country, Columbus Ohio. After much thought I concluded it was time to finally trade those cold gloomy winters for 300+ days of sunshine which ultimately landed me here at this one-of-a-kind place. A little about myself; I did my undergrad at Bowling Green State University where I was a collegiate linebacker for 4 years and then went straight into medical school at Ohio University Heritage College of Medicine. Prior to 3rd year of medical school, I had 0 experience in Emergency Medicine and was a complete noobie to the EM world. I kid you not, I’d never even been in an ER as a patient, but ever since that first shift, I’ve been hooked. When not in the hospital you’ll most likely find me at the gym, eating at new restaurants, hiking, hanging out with my 4 year old Goldendoodle or (most importantly) if its fall, going nuts on Saturday and Sunday rooting on the Buckeyes and Browns. So why Copa? Why move 1800 miles across the country? Two words: the people! I was fortunate enough to come down in late January after interview season to see the city and meet some of the residents. I was blown away by the interactions, personalities, and brilliance each resident possessed. The sense of family between residents was second to none. Then you add in world class training, amazing weather, and a great city to the mix, it made the choice clear as day. Ultimately, my best advice is follow your gut on where you feel like you’ll be your best self. If you have any questions feel free to reach out, I look forward to meeting all you guys!

Creighton University School of Medicine

Andrew Schlinkert

Hey everybody, I’m Andrew – the guy wearing all the sunscreen on the left! I was born and raised in Scottsdale, AZ, and completed my undergrad at Arizona State University. Before medical school, I worked in medical research, pharmaceutical R&D, and scribed on a rural Native American reservation. Scribing showed me how awesome a career in emergency medicine could be, so I went to Creighton medical school to pursue my new dream. I spent my first two years in Omaha (winters without mountains … yuck) before returning to beautiful Arizona. I did my sub-I at Copa and knew immediately that this was the program for me. Copa’s county training, additional care for underserved populations, early elective exposure, and the sense of camaraderie among the residents set the program apart from the rest. When I am not working or studying, I like to spend time hiking, biking, skiing, watching nature documentaries, hanging out with friends and family, and continuing my lifelong search for the best breakfast burrito in the U.S. I hope you like Copa as much as I do, and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.

Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine

Elise Tran

Hey there, I’m Elise! I was born and raised in Reno, Nevada. I loved Reno so much I stayed for college at University of Nevada-Reno and earned dual degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biology, while playing lots of piano and oboe on the side–holla at my fellow orchestra nerds. I enjoy anything that gets me outside, whether it’s hiking, backpacking, camping, rock climbing, or mountain biking. I also love a spin class, plant-based cooking, trying new restaurants, idiotic dancing at concerts, binge-watching trash reality TV, coffee snobbery, shenanigans with my fur-child Sammi, and tending to my plant babies. I spent the last 4 years in the wet & wild Pacific-Northwest for med school at WesternU COMP-NW, where I also developed interests in treating underserved communities, critical care, and harm reduction. After rotating at ‘Copa during my fourth year, I knew it was the perfect place for me because of the unique patient population, the classic county vibe, and the unwavering support from the program to pursue my interests. As much as I love the constant ~moisture~ of the PNW, I am stoked to be part of the ‘Copa family where I know the residents are well-trained, passionate, and happy. The year-round desert sunshine in AZ is also a huge perk. Thanks for checking us out, and I’m happy to chat with you about the program or literally anything else!

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Lindsay Williams

Hi everyone! I’m Lindsay and I am an east coast transplant. I was born and raised in Lehman, which is a small town in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and I went to undergrad at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA (I promise there’s more in Lancaster than just the Amish – the food is incredible!) I stayed in PA just a little longer to attend medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. 25 years in Pennsylvania has been enough so I am incredibly excited for new adventures in Phoenix! Like almost everyone in EM, I love traveling, hiking, snowboarding, and most outdoor activities. I also enjoy baking, relaxing with a nice hazy IPA, watching terrible reality tv (The Bachelor/Bachelorette and The Real Housewives are my weaknesses), and supporting Penn State football and wrestling. My interests within emergency medicine include wilderness medicine, pediatric EM, critical care, and medical education and I’m excited to explore all of these areas at Copa and find my niche within EM. I love working with underserved populations and I can’t wait to learn from the incredible patients and physicians at Copa!