Board of Directors
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.
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.
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.
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
Peter Anderson, MD FAAEM attended Medical School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed an Internship at LAC-USC in 1973-1974. He began practice in the emergency department of Fountain Valley Regional Hospital in Orange County in 1974 which was just a few months after the newly constructed hospital was opened. He grandfathered into ABEM in 1981. He took over the contract for staffing the emergency department at Fountain Valley in 1976 and had the contract until December 1st of 2017. In December, he transitioned the contract to his physicians under the AAEM Practice Management group as an independent democratic group with all fourteen physicians being equal shareholders. He is in the process of doing the same with his last remaining contract at Placentia Linda Hospital. Dr. Anderson was president of the Orange County Medical Association in 1994. He was on the Founding Board of Directors of CalOptima from 1994-2002 which is Orange County’s MediCal managed care system, and he was Chairman for two terms. CalOptima has been a success story, and now has 850,000 covered lives in Orange County. He was awarded the Orange County Medical Association “Physician of the Year” in 1999. He was on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Coalition of Community Clinics from 2001-2008 and was the Chair from 2006-2008. He continues to be involved with CalOptima, and is a representative of the OCMA and emergency physicians on committees dealing with indigent care, behavioral health problems, and homelessness in Orange County.
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.
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.
Following residency, he completed a Fellowship in EMS/Disaster Medicine at Los Angeles County-Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and the Los Angeles County EMS Agency. He is board certified in both emergency medicine and EMS. He has remained on both the Social Media Committee and the EMS Committee. He will be co-chairing the AAEM EMS Committee this coming year and has been a lecturer at Scientific Assembly.
In his free time, he is busy planning his wedding next year, enjoys traveling around the world, and rooting on his Philadelphia Eagles!
Sandra Thomasian, MD, is a Clinical Instructor of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. She completed medical school at the Chicago Medical School and did her residency at the University of Nevada. After completing residency she began working at Cedars Sinai Medical Center where she lectures to residents, is the Trauma Liaison for the emergency department, and a member of the Emergency Medicine leadership board.
Dr. Thomasian has been involved with AAEM since 2009 where she was active in several leadership roles with AAEM/RSA. She is a strong advocate for fair emergency medicine practices.
In her free time she enjoys photography, hiking the California trails, concocting healthy family recipes, and sharing health wellness tips to the general public via her blog.
Faith Quenzer is a dedicated member and contributor of AAEM Resident and Student Association since medical school. She is a native of California; born and raised in the Stockton, California. She attended UC San Diego as an undergraduate and went to medical school at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific where she founded and organized the first ever Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) Student Symposium. She is currently a fourth-year Emergency Medicine resident at Desert Regional Medical Center. During her medical school years, she was the Western Regional Representative and as the Vice President of the Medical Student Council. Today, she currently is the co-chair for the Women in EM Committee. She is an avid writer and has made contributions to AAEM's Common Sense. She has published in both in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine and in West JEM Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine. Her goal is to contribute to Emergency Medicine through writing, research, and advocacy.
Kyle Ragins, MD MBA, is a 4th year resident at the UCLA Ronald Reagan-Olive View Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Kyle graduated from the joint MD/MBA program at Yale University in 2015 and is a rising leader in the physician advocacy community, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors of Doctors for America and National Physicians Alliance, as well as Vice Chair of the Health Policy Committee of the Emergency Medicine Residents Association (EMRA). His focus has long been on strengthening health care systems to improve the the health of underserved communities. His work experience in pursuit of this interest spans a diverse array of disciplines, including management consulting (McKinsey), global health (WHO), population health (Kaiser Permanente), advocacy (Wexler & Walker), education (Yale), academic research, and his everyday practice in the emergency department. He has been especially involved with the Latino population, having worked on projects in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru, Honduras, and Cuba, as well as teaching English as a second language, conducting academic research on the Latino experience in healthcare, and directing Spanish interpretive services for a student-run free clinic. He is a strong believer that emergency medicine physicians need to make their voice heard to build a better healthcare system and stand up to the many forces that currently threaten the future of emergency medicine. He appreciate the opportunity to provide a resident perspective to the California AAEM Board of Directors and to help educate his resident peers on the importance being involved with AAEM.
For 2 1/2 years, Bryan worked with me as the Deputy Editor for the CAL/AAEM News Service. This is our chapter division’s electronic news service which has grown to over 1,500 subscribers. I find him extremely knowledgeable about the issues facing emergency medicine both clinically and professionally as well as from a public policy and public health standpoint. He would be an excellent member of the board to represent our residents.
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 www.westjem.com. 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. http://www.aaem.org/about-aaem/awards/prev-award-winners. He also serves as Vice President of the Medical Staff at UC Irvine Medical Center.