Dr. Edward Copeland III - US Army Veteran - Gainesville, FL
Dr. Copeland’s national reputation as one of the leading minds in researching and treating cancer is unquestioned.
His bibliography includes 462 journal articles and book chapters and 87 published abstracts and editorials. He is the editor or co-editor of 23 books and either is or has been a member of 17 editorial boards to include the Associate Editor of the Annals of Surgical Oncology, Editor of the Year Book of Surgery and Co-editor with Dr. Kirby I. Bland of the tome. Breast Cancer: Comprehensive Management of Benign and Malignant Disorders now in its 5th edition. His research interests are in surgical nutrition, metabolism and tumor biology. Dr. Copeland’s impact on the Florida Medical Community is renowned. He is the First Director of the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center. The University of Florida recruited him away from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Hospital and Cancer Institute in 1982, where he was already a nationally known surgeon.
He served as the center’s formative director between 1994 and 1999. As director, Dr. Copeland was instrumental in laying the foundation upon which the Shands Center now stands. It was under his leadership that the Davis Cancer Center Pavilion was constructed as a joint effort between the University of Florida and Shands to serve as the clinical home for the cancer center and to become the department of radiation oncology. Dr. Copeland fostered the inter departmental multidisciplinary collaboration for the delivery of cancer care still in place today and was instrumental in establishing the University of Florida Breast Center and its early research and clinical care initiatives. In fact. Dr. Copeland continues to be one of the leading breast cancer surgeons in the world. On a personal note, to this day, this 80 year old doctor radiates a sense of joy in his work and continues to offer a comforting hand to those in need.
Education and Training Accomplishments:
Dr. Copeland received his BA Degree from Duke University, his MD Degree from Cornell University Medical College and completed his residency in General Surgery at the Hospital
of the University of Pennsylvania.
Professional Employment History:
Received a direct commission to the Army Medical in July 1969 as a Major, attended the Army Medical Service Officer’s Basic Course, the Military Justice, Geneva Convention, Code of Conduct and Basic Rifleman’s Training and was then assigned in 1970 to Vietnam as a General Surgeon. He served in Vietnam until 1971 when he was reassigned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. He was Honorably Discharged in 1971 and awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his service in Vietnam.
1963- 1964: Internship, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania-Philadelphia
1964-1969: Residency, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania-Philadelphia
1966-1967: Research Fellow, Harrison Department of Surgical Research, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania-Philadelphia
1968-1969: Chief Resident, General Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania-Philadelphia
1971-1972: Advanced Senior Fellow in Cancer Surgery, The University of Texas System Cancer Center M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute-Houston
1972- 1973: Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Texas Medical School at Houston
1972-1977: Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Texas System Cancer Center M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute-Houston
1973-1976: Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Texas Medical School at Houston
1976- 1982: Professor of Surgery, University of Texas Medical School at Houston
1977-1982: Professor of Surgery, University of Texas System Cancer Center M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute-Houston
1981- 1992: Project Director, National Large Bowel Cancer Project, National Cancer Institute, University of Texas System Cancer Center M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute-Houston
1990-1993: President, Florida Clinical Practice Association
1994-1999: Director, University of Florida Shands Cancer Center
1996-1997: Interim Dean, University of Florida College of Medicine
1996-1999: President, Faculty Practice Group, University of Florida
1982-2003: Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine
2003-2008: Edward R. Woodward Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine
2008-Present: Distinguished Professor of Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine
Civic Activities and Contributions:
Dr. Copeland has engaged in civic activities his entire adult life. Because of his background, his focus has been on community cancer prevention and awareness. He has served with distinction on the boards of the Greater Houston Chapter of the American Cancer Society, as Chairman of the American Cancer Society, on the board of the Alachua County Florida Chapter of the American Cancer Society, on the board of directors of the Florida Division of the Colorectal Cancer Task Force, on the board of directors of the Gainesville Mental Health Foundation, member of the Florida Cancer Control and Research Advisory Board, a member of the Medical and Scientific committee, and as a board member of the Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. In addition. Dr. Copeland found time to serve as a member of the Gainesville Rotary Club, and on the Board of Directors of the North Central Florida Branch of Sun Bank. He was also a member of the Chapelwood Methodist Church and on their administrative board, and a member of the board of the Memorial Drive Country Club, the board of directors of the Wildcat Cliffs Country Club and a member of the Board of Directors of the Highlands Cashiers Hospital. In all these capacities, Dr. Copeland made significant contributions to his community.
Advocacy on Behalf of Veterans:
Because of his Army Service in Vietnam, Dr. Copeland has a special interest in the well being of Veterans. All during his time at the University of Texas System Cancer Center at M.D. Anderson Hospital he was extraordinarily involved in the treatment of Veterans. While a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Florida, College of Medicine, Dr. Copeland continued his service to Veterans by engaging with the VA as one of 12 Doctors at the Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center and one of 12 Doctors at the Malcom Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center who specialize in Surgery.
Awards or Honors:
Dr. Copeland has reached the pinnacle of his profession and is nationally recognized for his understanding and treatment of cancer. His national awards include:
- President of the Association for Academic Surgery
- President of the Halsted Surgical Society
- President of the Society of Surgical Chairmen
- President of the Society of Surgical Oncology
- President of the Southern Surgical Association
- President of the Southern Surgical Congress
- President of the American College of Surgeons
- Chairman of the American Board of Surgery
- Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons Chairman of the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons
Dr. Copeland has also been recognized in a variety of ways during his career. During his short military career he received the Bronze Star for his service in the Republic of Vietnam and later while serving as Assistant Surgical Consultant in the Surgeon General’s Office in Washington D.C. he was awarded the Certificate of Achievement.
During his medical career, Dr. Copeland was awarded:
- Membership into Alpha Omega Alpha
- The American College of Nutrition Award for Clinical Research
- The Senior Class Outstanding Teacher Award, Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical School of Houston
- The Lester R. Dragstedt Physican/Scientist Award, Department of Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine
- Seale Harris Award, Southern Medical Association
- Named the Edward R. Woodward Professor at University of Florida College of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award, M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute Distinguished Surgical Alumnus, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
- The Heritage Award from the Society of Surgical Oncology
In addition to the above honors. Dr. Copeland was awarded Honorary Fellowships by:
- The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
- The Society of Black Academic Surgeons
- The Southeastern Surgical Society
- The Texas Surgical Society