David Copenhaver, M.D., M.P.H.

Chief, Division of Pain Medicine

Director, Cancer Pain Management & Supportive Care

Director, Pain Tele-Health programs

Clinical Professor, Division of Pain Medicine

David Copenhaver is not currently accepting new patients. For assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).




Pain Medicine

Locations and Contact

Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center

Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center
4860 Y St.
Sacramento, CA 95817

Get Directions

Phone: 916-734-7246

Cannery Building

Spine Center
3301 C St.
Sacramento, CA 95816

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Additional Numbers

Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

Dr. Copenhaver believes in Cancer Pain Management and Supportive Care by using all means necessary to reduce pain, improve function and the quality of our patient's lives.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Copenhaver is an anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist with unique expertise in diagnosing and managing complex pain management problems of various types. Dr. Copenhaver has expertise in cancer pain management, craniofacial pain and complex regional pain syndrome. Dr. Copenhaver’s practice utilizes numerous techniques, including but not limited to, the implantation of neuromodulatory devices and direct delivery of medications to the central nervous system via intrathecal delivery platforms.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Copenhaver has research interests in health services administration, pain medicine education, responsible opioid therapy management, targeted drug delivery, cancer pain management, craniofacial pain and the applied use of stem cells in the setting of intervertebral disc disease.

Dr. Copenhaver completed his undergraduate degrees in Neuroscience, Physiology and Behavior at UC Davis. He subsequently went on to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to complete his medical school education and a master's degree in public health with an emphasis in Health Services Administration. Dr. Copenhaver completed his residency in Anesthesiology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and his pain medicine fellowship at the University of California at Davis.


Pain Medicine
Neurological Surgery

Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Undergraduate School

B.S./B.A., UC Davis, Davis CA 1997/1998

Medical School

M.D., David Geffen School of Medicine - UC Los Angeles, Los Angeles CA 2005

Other School

M.P.H., Health Services Administration, Jonathan Fielding School of Public Health at UCLA, Los Angeles CA 2005


Internal Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles CA 2005-2006


Anesthesiology, Columbia University - New York Presbyterian, Manhattan NY 2006-2009


Pain Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento CA 2009-2010

Sacramento Magazine's Top Doctors, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Recognition of Excellent Care, UC Davis Health, 2017

Outstanding Teacher of the Year UC Davis Pain Medicine 2011-2014,

Gary Collins Fellow Teacher of the Year Award UC Davis, 2010

Sara C. Armstrong Award for Compassionate Care, UC Davis Health, 2010

Team Captain of the Year, Columbia University Anesthesiology, 2009

Servis M, Fishman SM, Wallace MS, Henry SG, Ziedonis D, Ciccarone D, Knight KR, Shoptaw S, Dowling P, Suchard JR, Shah S, Singh N, Cedarquist LC, Alem N, Copenhaver DJ, Westervelt M, Willis BC. Responding to the Opioid Epidemic: Educational Competencies for Pain and Substance Use Disorder from the Medical Schools of the University of California. Pain Med. 2020 Dec 14:pnaa399. doi:10.1093/pm/pnaa399. Epub ahead of print. PMID:33316051.

Fishman SM, Copenhaver D, Lorenzen K, Schlingmann E, Chung C. UC Davis Train-the-Trainer Primary Care Pain Management Fellowship: Addressing the Pain Management Education Gap. Acad Med. 2020 Jun 23. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000003554. Epub ahead of print. PMID:32590468.

Fishman SM, Copenhaver D, Mongoven JM, Lorenzen K, Schlingmann E, Young HM. Cancer pain treatment and management: an interprofessional learning module for prelicensure health professional students. MedEdPORTAL. 2020;16:10953. doi:10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10953.

Singh N, Nielsen AA, Copenhaver DJ, Sheth SJ, Li CS, Fishman SM. Advancing Simulation-Based Education in Pain Medicine. Pain Med. 2018 Sep 1;19(9):1725-1736. doi:10.1093/pm/pnx344. PMID:29490076.

Copenhaver DJ, Karvelas NB, Fishman SM. Risk Management for Opioid Prescribing in the Treatment of Patients With Pain From Cancer or Terminal Illness: Inadvertent Oversight or Taboo? Anesth Analg. 2017 Nov;125(5):1610-1615. doi:10.1213/ANE.0000000000002463. PMID:29049111.

Solberg J, Copenhaver D, Fishman SM. Medial branch nerve block and ablation as a novel approach to pain related to vertebral compression fracture. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2016 Oct;29(5):596-9. doi:10.1097/ACO.0000000000000375. PMID:27548307.

Smith HS, Sheth SJ, Copenhaver DJ, Fishman SM. Radiation and Imaging Radiation Safety for the Pain Specialist. In: Bajwa ZH, Wootton R, Warfield CA. eds. Principles and Practice of Pain Medicine, 3e. McGraw Hill; 2016.

Copenhaver DJ, Prickett W, Fishman SM. Essentials, Legal and Regulatory Considerations in Opioid Prescribing Companion Book. In: Ries RK, Fiellin DA, Miller SC, Saitz R, (ed). Principles of Addiction Medicine, Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. 2015.

Calderon R, Copenhaver D. Postdural puncture headache. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2013 Dec;27(4):406-7. doi:10.3109/15360288.2013.847523. Epub 2013 Nov 18. PMID:24245572.

Calderon R, Copenhaver D. Buprenorphine for chronic pain. J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2013 Dec;27(4):402-5. doi:10.3109/15360288.2013.847522. Epub 2013 Nov 18. PMID:24245573.