Dr. Copelan earned her Bachelor of Arts at Bennington College in Vermont. She then earned her Master of Medical Science at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire, before earning her medical degree at the University of Southern California (USC) Keck School of Medicine. Following her medical degree, she completed her internship in internal medicine and psychiatry at the LA County/USC Medical Center, where she also completed her residency in psychiatry. Dr. Copelan then worked as a clinical associate at the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute.
Since 1974, Dr. Copelan has worked in private practice settings in general psychiatry and medicine. She has also worked as a staff psychiatrist at various facilities throughout California, including Camarillo State Hospital, the Ventura County Behavioral Health Department, Ventura County Jail, Vista Del Mar Hospital, and the Peer Review Committee at Vista Del Mar Hospital.