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Joshua Copel, MD

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Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and of Pediatrics


Vice Chair, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs, Yale Medicine



Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and of Pediatrics

Vice Chair, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences; Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs, Yale Medicine


As an expert in prenatal diagnosis and fetal therapy, Dr. Copel has pioneered new diagnostic techniques for unborn patients and their mothers. He is also an expert in both surgical and non-invasive approaches to maternal-fetal care. “One of the most rewarding aspects of my particular field is when I really can say we made a difference,” says Dr. Copel. “It’s just great to say this kid wouldn’t be here if not for what we did prenatally.”

After completing a residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at Pennsylvania Hospital, Dr. Copel arrived at YNHH in 1983 to complete a fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine with Yale University School of Medicine. He stayed on to become a professor in two departments at Yale: Ob/Gyn and Pediatrics. Dr. Copel’s clinical interests include fetal echocardiography, chorionic villus sampling (where a small amount of placenta is tested for health risks and chromosomal conditions like Down Syndrome), amniotic fluid testing, and first trimester pregnancy screenings.

Dr. Copel is passionate about the high level of care his patients can expect to receive at YNHH, and proud that his team has been able to collaborate with medical societies both across the United States and abroad. “We can reach out with teaching techniques—including teaching about prenatal diagnosis—to large numbers of physicians around the world. What they are going to go and do for their patients is a much broader legacy than just working in a single practice,” he says.


Other Departments & Organizations

Education & Training

Yale University School of Medicine (1985)
Pennsylvania Hospital (1983)
Tufts University (1979)



Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

Congenital Abnormalities; Fetal Diseases; Heart Defects, Congenital; Pregnancy Complications

Research at a Glance

Yale Co-Authors

Frequent collaborators of Joshua Copel's published research.





Clinical Trials

Current Trials

Academic Achievements and Community Involvement

  • honor

    Joseph Holmes Clinical Pioneer Award

  • activity


  • activity


  • activity


  • honor

    Dru Carlson Award for best research in Ultrasound

Clinical Care


Joshua A. Copel, MD, is an obstetrician-gynecologist who specializes in high-risk pregnancy and is an expert in prenatal diagnosis and fetal therapy. He does not currently perform deliveries.

Dr. Copel focuses on prenatal diagnosis of heart abnormalities. “If you think of the heart as the size of your fist, imagine the tiny fist of a fetus at 20 weeks, whose heart is beating about twice as fast as it is in children and adults,” he says. “There are challenges in trying to see and make diagnoses about those hearts early, but because our group was the first to show that children do better with a prenatal diagnosis of heart problems, we have the right team assembled to care for the baby after he or she is born.”

Dr. Copel, who originally set out to become a psychiatrist, says that the background is useful. “When pregnancies don’t go well, having the ability to talk to the couple and to sense where they are and what they need is vital,” he says.

An active researcher, he looks forward to a future without invasive tests, where doctors can predict problems like Down’s syndrome with something as simple as a low-cost blood test.

Dr. Copel is a professor and vice chair of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine, and professor of pediatrics. He also serves as associate chief medical officer for Yale Medicine. He has also been recognized as one of the best doctors in the state by Connecticut Magazine.

Clinical Specialties

Maternal-Fetal Medicine; Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences

Fact Sheets

Yale Medicine News

Get In Touch


Academic Office Number
Appointment Number
Clinic Fax Number
Mailing Address

Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences

333 Cedar Street, PO Box 208063

New Haven, CT 06510

United States


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