“I have always been fascinated by the challenge of medicine,” Timothy Schaffner, MD, FACS, FASMBS, shares. “The idea that no matter how much you know, you can never know everything. It is the fostering of a lifelong quest for learning.”
From an early point in his residency, Dr. Schaffner enjoyed the challenge of minimally invasive surgery, spending hours practicing his laparoscopic skills and ultimately winning the “Top Gun” award at the annual Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) meeting.
After graduating from his medical fellowship in 2018, Dr. Schaffner began his career as an active-duty staff surgeon in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed at Joint Base San Antonio and Brooke Army Medical Center – the largest Department of Defense hospital in the world.
“I built a busy bariatric and foregut surgery practice and was responsible for teaching residents as well as medical students daily,” Dr. Schaffner explains.
He was deployed in 2020 as part of a ground surgical team, providing forward resuscitative surgery in remote locations during Operation Spartan Shield. Dr. Schaffner was later assigned an academic appointment as assistant professor of surgery at Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Md.
“The most meaningful aspect of serving in the military is the opportunity to care for active-duty service members, their families and retirees,” he shares. “This is a group of people who have given a great deal to our country, and to be able to help them in even small ways was extremely gratifying.”
Dr. Schaffner’s experience in the military laid the groundwork for the type of physician he wants to be for his patients.
“Military medicine is an incredibly collaborative, patient-centered model,” he explains. “I’ve tried to incorporate this idea into my civilian practice as well and involve my colleagues in a patient’s care to form a well-rounded, multi-disciplinary approach to care.”
We are happy that Dr. Schaffner recently joined our team at Bon Secours Surgical Weight Loss and is specializing in minimally invasive bariatric surgery.
Most patients who seek out Dr. Schaffner are facing difficulty in controlling their weight or their reflux, which is significantly impacting their quality of life.
“At some point, most every physician will say that they entered into their field of practice because they enjoy helping people in need. That is what I love the most about surgery for obesity and reflux – it is truly life-changing for patients,” Dr. Schaffner explains. “To see the change in their quality of life after surgery is truly humbling and never gets old for me.”
When he is not helping patients, Dr. Schaffner enjoys golfing, playing the guitar, skiing and spending time with his wife and two daughters.
And this Veterans Day, Dr. Schaffner is excited to celebrate with the many other service members who make up our team of health care professionals.
“There is an easy connection between the many other current and former military members within the ministry, and this is in part what has made my family. I feel so welcome in Hampton Roads since moving here in June.”
Thank you to Deb as well as all our other veteran team members for your service to our country. Read more stories about our veteran team members.
Also, learn more about the health care services we offer at Bon Secours.