Board of Directors


Brian Potts, MD MBA FAAEM

Brian Potts, MD MBA FAAEM, is a graduate of Stanford University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. He attended medical school at University of California – Irvine where he graduated with combined MD/MBA degree in 2004 and then stayed at University of California – Irvine  for his Emergency Medicine residency which was completed in 2007. Brian works for Berkeley Emergency Medical Group at two community emergency departments in Berkeley and Oakland, CA at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center which is part of Sutter Health. He is the Medical Director and Chair of their Berkeley emergency department. Brian has held numerous national and state leadership roles in the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM). He is currently an At-large Director for the national Board and has previously served on the board as Young Physician Section (YPS) Director in 2011 and as President of AAEM Resident and Student Association (RSA) in 2007. He is also a past President of YPS in 2010 and past President of the AAEM Medical Student Section in 2004. He was honored with the AAEM James Keaney Award in 2015 and the AAEM Resident of the Year award in 2005. Within the California chapter division (CAL/AAEM), Brian previously was a past President of CAL/AAEM in 2010, prior to serving again as President this year, and he has been a member of the California state chapter Board of Directors since 2006. For the last 18 years, he has been the Managing Editor of the CAL/AAEM News Service, an electronic news service with over 2,000 emergency physicians, residents, and students subscribers.


Immediate Past President
John Christensen, MD FAAEM

Dr. Christensen entered Oakland University in Rochester, MI at the end of his high school junior year and received a B.S. degree in Engineering Science, with Student of Distinction Honors. He then attended medical school at the University of Michigan, where he received his M.D. degree and worked as an engineering research assistant at U of M’s Highway Safety Research Institute. He completed an Internal Medicine Residency at University of Michigan Hospitals.

Dr. Christensen moved to Santa Cruz, CA in 1976 and received an appointment as an Assistant Professor of Community and Family Medicine at UCSF’s Family Practice Residency in Salinas, where he was an attending physician in an ED staffed by one of the original EM contract management groups in the state. Sensing an unfair business arrangement, he approached the Monterey County Controller for financial information on the ED contract, sought legal advise on the restrictive covenant protecting the contract and was ultimately able to convince the County’s General Counsel that an independent EM group could do a better job than the contract management group (CMG) that he believed was managing its affairs in a manner that was detrimental to the ED physicians. Thus was born the first independent EM group in California where a democratically oriented local group of physicians was able to defeat a large CMG and establish an entity based on fair business practices.

With the experience gained in Salinas, Dr. Christensen joined with other EPs in 1983 to staff a large community hospital in Santa Cruz. The group incorporated as Santa Cruz Emergency Physicians (SCEP) in 1992 and became recognized as a model for fairness-based governance and operations. In 1991, newly minted Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) acquired the hospital served by SCEP. CHW expanded rapidly to become the eighth largest hospital system in the country, and in 1997attempted to launch a plan with the potential to place over 500 emergency physicians and ultimately several thousand hospital-based physicians into a vertically integrated, corporate-controlled fee splitting arrangement. Dr. Christensen led the 4-year strategic planning and forensic financial analysis that drove the largest legal action in emergency medicine’s history centering on the fair market value of emergency medicine management services. AAEM played a vital role in supporting the California Medical Association (CMA) amicus curiae brief (available on the AAEM website) that tipped the balance and led to the dissolution of the management scheme at the heart of the fee-splitting arrangement targeted by the historic declaratory relief action. The CMA brief represented the California Medical Association, the California Society of Anesthesiologists, the California Radiology Society, AAEM, CAL/AAEM and the California Society of Pathologists. Hospital Based Physicians’ income and professional autonomy have been preserved at CHW sites across the state to this day, and other hospital systems were probably dissuaded from attempting similar arrangements. In 2003, AAEM gave Dr. Christensen the James Keaney Leadership Award for his role in the complex legal action.

Through years of arduous, high-risk battles to preserve fairness and due process, Dr. Christensen is deeply committed to advancing AAEM’s Mission. Dr. Christensen has proposed the formation of an AAEM Business Practice Valuation Council that establishes AAEM as the Trustee of Fairness in the Business of EM. Dr. Christensen has recently completed the draft version of an EM Practice Valuation Toolkit that will be available to all AAEM Members to inform their critical decisions on employment arrangements and other business matters.

Board Certification: ABEM, ABIM
Selected Professional activities:
Practice management experience:  CEO, CFO positions in independent local group
AAEM Charter Member (1994-present)
CAL/AAEM founding Board Member (1999-2002, reappointed 2011-present)
ACEP, Member (1976-present)
American Collegeof Physicians, Member (1975-present)
California Medical Association, Member (1998-present), Delegate
Santa Cruz County Medical Society Board of Governors (2010-present)
Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), Member
National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), Member

John is married and enjoys life with his family. He is an avid golfer, sailor and fine woodworker. As an outgrowth of the development of the Practice Valuation Toolkit, John is currently writing a book on fairness that draws widely from research on game theory, prospect theory, behavioral and neuroeconomics, identity economics, behavioral ethics, emotional intelligence theory, modern management theory, and storytelling.


Vice President
Jennifer Kanapicki Comer, MD FAAEM

Jennifer Kanapicki Comer, MD is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University.  She completed medical school at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York and did her residency at the Stanford/Kaiser Residency Program. She completed two fellowships, one in International Emergency Medicine and one in Academic Emergency Medicine. She currently is the Assistant Program Director for the Stanford/Kaiser Residency Program, a position she has served in for the past 6 years. She also is Co-Director of the Stanford Medical Education Scholarship Fellowship.

Dr. Kanapicki Comer has been involved in AAEM since beginning residency in 2007. She served multiple positions on both RSA, YPS and currently serves as the YPS Director on the AAEM Board of Directors. She also has held various positions on the board of CAL/AAEM and currently serves as Secretary. 

Dr. Kanapicki recently welcomed a new addition to her family, a daughter named Emma Rose. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her two children and husband, Garet.


Shahram Lotfipour, MD MPH FAAEM

Dr. Shahram Lotfipour is Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine (EM) and Public Health at the University of California (UC), Irvine. Dr. Lotfipour is Director of Global Health and Education, Director of the Center for Trauma and Injury Prevention Research and Managing Associate Editor for the Western Journal of EM and Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine. His research focus includes alcohol screening and brief intervention and referral to treatment using a novel hand held computerized model in the UC Irvine Emergency Department, and trauma centers in Orange County. He also has a special interest in mentoring medical students in career advancement and medical student research.


At-Large Board Members

At-Large Board Member
Jesse Borke, MD CPE FAAEM

Jesse Borke, MD CPE FAAEM is a graduate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the Advocate Christ Emergency Medicine Residency Program in Chicago. Prior to medical school, he graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Biology. He is a Certified Physician Executive by the Certifying Commission in Medical Management.

In his career, he has served as Emergency Department Medical Director, Patient Experience Champion, Medical Director of Throughput and Process Improvement, Chair of the Preadmission Testing Committee, Chair of the Emergency Department Utilization Committee, and a member of the hospital Operations Committee.

Dr. Borke has authored over a dozen articles in Emergency Medicine, and is the reviewer for over one hundred Emergency Medicine articles on MedlinePlus. He also serves as an expert reviewer for the Medical Board of California, serves on the AAEM Operations Management Committee, and previously served on the AAEM/RSA Publications Committee.

He has a special interest in emergency department flow and patient safety.


At-Large Board Member
William T. Durkin, Jr., MD MBA MAAEM FAAEM



At-Large Board Member
Danielle E. Goodrich, MD FAAEM

Dr. Danielle Goodrich, MD FAAEM works at the Los Angeles Medical Center as a physician with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Neuroscience. She attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha and the Gold Humanism Honor Society. She completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the Stanford/Kaiser Emergency Medicine. As a resident, she was involved with the AAEM Resident and Student Association where she served on the Communications Committee. Currently, she is actively involved with the Young Physician Section of AAEM where she serves as the President.


At-Large Board Member
James K. Keaney, MD MAAEM FAAEM



At-Large Board Member
Scott D. Reiter, MD FAAEM

Emergency Medicine and S.D.R.: “The In-A-Nutshell” - I grew up in a rough suburb of Newark where I learned to fight and became very familiar with my local emergency department. That is what drew me into emergency medicine initially. If I was going to spend so much time in the ER, I really should be getting paid for it.

After four years undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University, I went to my state medical school which was UMDNJ-Rutgers Medical School in Piscataway and New Brunswick, currently Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. I was lucky to do an eight week externship at MIEMS – Adult Shock Trauma at the end of 1978 after being invited there by R Adams Cowley, M.D., a thoracic surgeon I had written to amazed by his approach and results. He lowered the mortality from 80% to 20% in multi-organ trauma including patients in neurological and systemic shock. I stayed an additional eight weeks in Baltimore with J. Alex Haller, a skilled pediatric thoracic surgeon who recently died. His team treated the region’s pediatric trauma at Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Harriet Lane via the Pediatric ER.

When I applied for an Internal Medicine Residency at LAC/USC Med Ctr, there was no ABMS recognized specialty of Emergency Medicine or Board Exam. I did an extra (chief resident) year with 6+ months of electives more useful for emergency practice while moonlighting in all the emergency areas including 1350 MAR, 1060 surgical walk-in and 1050 med walk-in. After completing my extra year of residency, I stayed on at LAC/USC accepting staff assignments in these same areas.

Meanwhile, I became the Base Station Director and Paramedic Liason Physician at Beverly Hospital in L.A. and Attending Emergency Physician at Hollywood Presbyterian (One of the busiest private trauma centers in L.A. from 1984 to 1987). I have worked many settings including an eight year part-time stint at Kaiser Permanent ER in W.L.A., the ER in Marina del Rey, University of CA – L.A. starting as a Visiting Instructor in Emergency Medicine in 1987 to just recently, a nine year stint part-time at Olive View – U.C.L.A. Med Ctr and others. At age 65, I have paired down my Emergency Shifts and find myself more concerned with helping the practicing Emergentologist than the patient in the E.D. Helping with physician wellness can have an amplified ripple effect that helps many times the number of patients that I could manage. I have gone from gaining satisfaction as a “rescuer” to a more rewarding “rescuing the rescuer”. I hope that my role on the CAL/AAEM Board of Directors can help. I want anyone to feel free to write me and join me on my quest to make Emergency Practice Great Again. <- Just Kidding. But we need to ensure that ER Docs rights don’t erode, and the practice environment is optimized for patient care, not profits. Healthy Emergency Physicians practice better and longer. We deserve to practice in environments where we thrive. Patients are the ultimate benefactors.


At-Large Board Member
Brett A. Rosen, MD FAAEM

Brett Rosen, MD graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine and went on to complete his emergency medicine residency at Wellspan York Hospital. He was the President of the Medical Student Council for AAEM/RSA in his final year of medical school. While in residency, he was appointed the very first chair of the AAEM Social Media Committee and is the first resident to chair an AAEM Committee. He was also the SAEM Social Media Committee Chair and served on their Board of Directors as the Resident Representative. Brett is currently the EMS Medical Director for the State of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE)

In his free time, he is busy traveling the world and rooting on his Philadelphia Eagles!


Resident Representatives

Resident Representative
Haig Aintablian, MD

Hometown: Glendale, CA
Undergrad: University of Southern California
Medical School: University of Arizona College of Medicine
Residency Program: UCLA Medical Center
Favorite Thing About Your City: My favorite thing about LA are all the places I can visit. The infinite number of museums; from the beautiful Getty just a stone's throw away from UCLA, to the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino. I also love visiting the different restaurants across this amazingly vast city. One of my favorite memories from LA is the time they towed the Space Shuttle Endeavor through the LA streets from LAX to its final home at the California Science Center.
Professional Interests: Aerospace medicine, healthcare policy, administration
Hobbies: Astrophotography, martial arts, working on vintage cars, camping, golf
Favorite TV Show: The Office, "Through concentration, I can raise and lower my cholesterol at will." - Dwight Schrute. Stranger Things, there's just something about retro alien shows that gets to me. Dark (German Series), a really complex show about time travel that occurs in a small German town (is my nerd showing yet? haha). Game of Thrones, (mandatory inclusion). Honorable Mentions: Mind Hunter, The Punisher, The Leftovers.


Resident Representative
Collin Michels, MD

Collin Michels, MD is an emergency medicine resident at Stanford. Born and raised in South Dakota, he graduated from the University of South Dakota for undergraduate work and medical school. As a medical student, he was selected to the AOA and Gold Humanism honor societies. He served as the student representative to the South Dakota State Medical Association, worked for the South Dakota State Legislature, and was active in the American Medical Association-Medical Student Section. 

As a resident, he has served as a member of the Emergency Medicine Residents Association Committee on Health Policy. His professional interests include pediatric emergencies, education, effective communication, and health policy.


Resident Representative
David Nykin, MD

David Nykin is an Emergency Medicine resident at the University of California, Irvine. He received his MD from the University of California, San Diego, where he was a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He received his BA in Neuroscience from the University of Southern California, where he was a Rose Hills Research Fellow. Previously, he has worked as a classroom teacher for the Oakland Unified School District through Teach For America.

In addition to his role as CAL/AAEM Resident Representative, he currently serves as a resident delegate for the Orange County Medical Association, as well as the Housestaff Safety Officer and Chief Resident for Medical Students for the UCI EM Residency.  His areas of active interest and research include quality improvement, population health, public policy, and medical education.



WestJEM Editor-in-Chief
Mark Langdorf, MD FAAEM

Mark I. Langdorf, MD MHPE, FAAEM, FACEP, RDMS is Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. After medical school at UC San Diego, he did an EM residency, a fellowship in medical education and the Master degree in Health Professions Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He served as Program Director for the emergency medicine residency for 10 years, Medical Director of the Level I Trauma Center Emergency Department for 18 years, and Division Chief and then Department Chair for 20 years. He served as Associate Dean for Faculty Development and CME, and Director of the Academy for Innovation in Medical Education at UC Irvine. He also served as Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, responsible for the entire medical school teaching program at UC Irvine.

He consults and speaks nationally and internationally to promote optimum trauma, stroke and emergency care. He is Regional Faculty for the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine (WestJEM), an open-access peer review international journal, at By virtue of this role, he serves as an Ex-officio member of the Cal AAEM Board of Directors. He is the recipient of the Peter Rosen (renamed the Robert McNamara) Award for Academic Leadership from the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. He also serves as Vice President of the Medical Staff at UC Irvine Medical Center.


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