Dr. Elizabeth Coppelman has been practicing equine surgery and medicine since 2013. She grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. From a young age, Dr. Coppelman knew she wanted to be an equine veterinarian. Her mother innocently signed her up for “horsemanship camp.” Dr. Coppelman has been a barn rat ever since. Dr. Coppelman spent much of middle school and high school competing in the local and rated Northern Virginia hunter/jumper show circuits. She spent all her extra time at the barn- assisting visiting veterinarians and farriers, catch riding, pulling manes, and mucking stalls. Her first horse, “Elliot,” had an arthroscopic surgery on his carpus and watching the surgery solidified Dr. Coppelman’s goal to pursue a large animal surgery residency. In addition to her equine activities, Dr. Coppelman was an active part of the Alexandria community and participated in many programs aiding young children with physical and mental disabilities. She also was an avid athlete and received coaches’ awards in 3 sports at T.C. Williams High School (lacrosse, ice hockey, and field hockey) for her ability to build team unity and provide positive leadership. Dr. Coppelman graduated summa cum laude in 2005.
Dr. Coppelman attended the University of Florida and obtained a degree in Animal Sciences, with emphasis in biology. Instead of spending a traditional semester abroad, she went to Summerfield, Florida at Peterson and Smith Equine Reproductive Center where she worked 100+ hours a week as an intern – and loved every minute of it! Dr. Coppelman also showed her current horse “Simon” at the HITS circuit in Ocala, Florida. Dr. Coppelman never missed a college football game – Go Gators! She graduated cum laude in 2009.
Dr. Coppelman obtained her doctorate in veterinary medicine at The Ohio State University. She was the first of her class hired to work in the Equine ICU caring for critical surgery and medicine patients at the hospital, and later became in charge of the student program. She also worked in the theriogenology department and conducted a research project entitled, “Pregnancy Diagnosis before the Collection and Transfer of Horse Embryos.” During her fourth year of vet school, Dr. Coppelman completed the Equine Acupuncture Course at the Chi Institute in Reddick, Florida.
Dr. Coppelman’s extracurricular activities extended beyond the hospital walls. She became the first veterinary student in the state of Ohio and 1 of 200 professional students in the country to become a Schweitzer Fellow in 2011. The fellowship is a 1-year interdisciplinary program focused on one health related community service and leadership development. Dr. Coppelman designed a project that provided equine animal therapy for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities and veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder while providing veterinary care for the horses in the program.
After graduating veterinary school in 2013, Dr. Coppelman completed a rotating equine internship at Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center (AMPEC) in Los Olivos, California. In a technologically advanced, high case load environment, she heighted her skills in equine surgery, internal medicine, imaging, ICU care, and anesthesia. The experiences gained at AMPEC provided Dr. Coppelman with the knowledge and skills to propel straight into a large animal surgical residency at the University of Minnesota (UMN) in St. Paul, MN.
At UMN, Dr. Coppelman completed a duel large animal surgery residency and Master’s Degree Program. She was trained in soft tissue and orthopedic surgical procedures, as well as in advanced lameness and sports medicine diagnostics and techniques. Dr. Coppelman completed several continuing education courses in areas of equine fracture management, upper airway procedures, and arthroscopy. She successfully defended her Master’s thesis in the “Use of biomarkers to determine the severity of osteoarthritis in the tarsus of an older horse population” in 2017. Dr. Coppelman was the first large animal resident at UMN to integrate acupuncture into case management and provide a holistic approach to patient care.
After completion of her residency, Dr. Coppelman stayed at UMN as a clinical instructor for large animal surgery and sports medicine. She primarily managed emergency surgery and lameness cases. Dr. Coppelman also attended the advanced equine acupuncture course at the Chi Institute.
After 12 years, Dr. Coppelman could not be more excited to come back home to Northern Virginia and join the TEVA team. She looks forward to using her advanced Western and Eastern medicine training to provide the TEVA clients with the best possible multimodal and individualized care. Additionally, Dr. Coppelman hopes to become an active part of the community.