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Mark P. Popenhagen, PsyD

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Phoenix Children's Hospital - Main
1919 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, Arizona 85016

About Mark P. Popenhagen, PsyD

Dr. Mark Popenhagen is a pediatric psychologist, board certified in Clinical Health Psychology, who joined Phoenix Children's Hospital in early 2013 as the Director of Mental Health Services for the Pain Medicine Service. He has clinical interest and specialization in pediatric psychology, acute and chronic pain management, epidermolysis bullosa, palliative care, and hospital bioethics. He has authored/co-authored several papers, chapters, and posters on pain and pain management, and is a frequent invited lecturer on the topics of pediatric pain management, coping with chronic illness, and epidermolysis bullosa. In the community, Dr. Popenhagen has collaborated with debra of America (the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America) since 2008 and with DEBRA International since 2018 as a regular conference presenter and in the development of clinical practice guidelines. Dr. Popenhagen is passionate about helping his patients and their families live the valued and quality lives they want to live in spite of their pain. He strives to partner not only with all of his patients' care providers, but also with the most important members of the team, the patient and family themselves.
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Education & Training

Medical School / Education

Minnesota School of Professional Psychology


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN


University Hospitals Health System, Laurelwood Hospital and Counseling Centers, Willoughby, Ohio

Professional Affiliations

American Psychological Association

Questions & Answers

What led you to your career as a psychologist?
I started in aerospace engineering but found that working with people was a lot more fun than working with equations. I started taking psychology classes and couldn't get enough!

What is the best thing about your job?
Getting to help add life to kids' years.

Have you received a special gift of thanks or piece of artwork from a child?
I have cherished every piece of artwork I've ever received from a patient.

What is your favorite children's book?
I have two: The Monster at the end of this Book, and Green Eggs and Ham

How do you go about calming a child's fears? Aside from the wonderful work of the Child Life team?
First and foremost I listen to what those fears are, and only then do we start working to battle the fears together.

How do you build trust with a parent?
First sit down and LISTEN and then keep listening.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Hanging out with my family, woodworking, fishing

What is your favorite local restaurant?
I haven't been here very long, but I do like the sushi at Stingray.

Where are you originally from, and how did you get here?
This is the 13th state that I've lived in! I came here just for Phoenix Children's Hospital and all the great opportunities here!

Research & Publications

Pediatric Psychology, Acute Pain, Chronic Pain, Epidermolysis bullosa, Palliative Care