He is board-certified in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine

Cookeville – Several factors 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 to the medical field.”

The love of science and several physician mentors cemented his interest.

“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 joins Dr. Bernadette Hee, Dr. Swarooopa Nalamalapu and Dr. Luis Urbina on the Pulmonology team. He earned his medical degree from Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus Ohio before completing an internal medicine/pediatrics residency at the Ohio State University Medical Center and the Columbus Children’s Hospital.

He 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 before earning a master of health administration from the University of Florida. He is also board-certified in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine and a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, and a “fellow” (or learning physician) at the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Over the past 23 years, Shaffer 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.”

After interviewing with Cookeville Regional’s administration, he said he left rejuvenated.

“I met the people here and saw just how dedicated they are to community and their patients,” he said. 

In the ICU, 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.

The ability to help people live better with chronic illness is what he enjoys most about Pulmonary medicine.

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

He loves building a team, CrossFit, running marathons, hiking and being outdoors.

“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.”

For Shaffer, medicine is a family affair.

“My wife, Vanessa, is an ICU nurse practitioner,” said Shaffer. “Between the two of us, we have five kids, ranging in age from 21 years old to 33 years old. Tennessee has always been a favorite place of mine.I love the local aspect. Everyone knows everyone.”

He is accepting new patients. For more information call 931-783-2143.

Photo courtesy of CRMC.

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