Having always known she wanted to be in the medical profession, Mary Sandra Copley, MD, specializes in general and family medicine. First earning a Bachelor of Science in religion and Bible studies in order to find jobs to fund her way through medical school, she obtained a Master of Science and worked as a social worker while she completed her Doctor of Medicine at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. She graduated second in her class at Marshall University in 1990.
With a long and accomplished career to her name, Dr. Copley is now mostly retired and currently spends a few days a week at Lincoln Primary Care in Hamlin, West Virginia, and the Ebenezer Medical Clinic in Huntington, West Virginia. She is particularly proud of her work at the Ebenezer Medical Clinic, which is an organization that provides medical care to people without medical insurance. While she no longer delivers babies due to changes in the field now requiring a specialist to be present, it was her favorite thing to do when she first started out in the field, and she finds immense gratification in having the ability to take care of people and give them support when they need it, particularly those who are struggling financially.
One of the major highlights in Dr. Copley’s career came during her time in medical school, when she had the opportunity to go to Africa as a physician with a group of missionaries. She had long been inspired by the work of Albert Schweitzer, a physician who did considerable work to improve the state of medicine in Africa, and so getting to go to Africa and make her own contributions was one of the best things that ever happened to her. Additionally proud of her ability to connect with people, she maintains professional affiliation with the American Academy of Family Physicians in order to connect with other physicians and keep abreast of new developments in the field.
Dr. Copley attributes much of her success to her determination to achieve her medical degree despite her hearing limitations. The changes she had to make in her life to help her overcome her hearing impairment, along with the people who supported her along the way, were also vital to her eventual success. Living by the motto “Do what God tells me to do and treat people with grace and dignity at all times,” she hopes to leave a legacy as someone who overcame and excelled despite all of the obstacles she faced. Looking toward the future, she hopes to continue on as she has, working a few days a week in her local clinics as a retired physician.
Furthermore, Dr. Copley is incredibly grateful to her late father, Edward Wendel Copley, who encouraged and supported her all the way. He had initially hoped to go to medical school himself, but instead he joined the U.S. Army, serving in World War II, and she hopes her career in medicine made him proud. She was also greatly influenced by her sister, Judy Copley Forbush, who was a school administrator and a constant pillar of support and encouragement over the years. Above all her career accomplishments, Dr. Copley considers her greatest achievement to be raising her two daughters, Tracie and Sandra, who she is incredibly proud of. Through them, her family has grown to include grandson Christian and great-grandson Liam. In her free time, Dr. Copley enjoys playing the piano.