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Shaffer joins pulmonology team

There are a number of factors that influenced Dr. Jim Shaffer to go into the medical field.

“My mother was a nurse in a family practice office,” he said. “That was my first introduction into the medical field.”

The sciences also interested him. He also had a number of physician mentors throughout his life,

“All of those things somewhat came together to influence my interest in medicine,” he said. “I really appreciate the work ethic of a physician and their ability to make a difference.”

Shaffer earned his medical degree from Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus Ohio.

He went on to complete an internal medicine/pediatrics residency at the Ohio State University Medical Center and the Columbus Children’s Hospital. He then completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Ohio State University Medical Center, where he was also chief resident of the internal medicine department.

He also has a master of health administration he earned from the University of Florida.

Over the past 23 years, he has worked in Melbourne, Florida.

He was ready for something different.

“My wife, Vanessa, and I bought an RV and traveled when COVID started,” he said. “We visited Cookeville a few times and enjoyed the atmosphere and people. So we bought land here.”

When he interviewed with Cookeville Regional’s administration, he left completely rejuvenated.

“I met the people here and saw just how dedicated they are to this community and their patients,” he said. “I love the local aspect. Everyone knows everyone.”

In the ICU setting, it’s the ability to have a measurable impact at a patient’s critical moments.

“I like the privilege of being able to make a difference in survival or at least to not let the patient die alone, in pain but instead, have dignity,” he said.

With regards to pulmonology, he enjoys the ability to help people live better with chronic illness.

“It gives them a sense of hope,” he said. “That’s what we as physicians do: give hope.”

He loves building a team.

“I want to give my team a sense of purpose, buy-in,” he said. “It’s my hope that when I leave, I leave a better sense of cohesiveness and keep the core team going.”

He is board-certified in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine; a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, a fellow, American College of Chest Physicians and American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

He joins Dr. Bernadette Hee, Dr. Swarooopa Nalamalapu, and Dr. Luis Urbina. He is accepting new patients and can be reached at 931-783-2143.

Q&A with Dr. Shaffer:

What are some of your hobbies? I enjoy CrossFit, running marathons, hiking and being outdoors.

Family? My wife, Vanessa, is an ICU nurse practitioner. Between the two of us, we have five kids, ranging in age from 21 years old to 33 years old.

Favorite place to travel? Tennessee has always been a favorite place of mine. Vanessa and I did get married in Ireland and that was spectacular. I’ve also hiked Mount Kilimanjaro, which was an amazing experience.

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