Credentials: Pharm.D., BCPS, AAHIVE
Position/Title: Assistant Professor
Organization: Jefferson School of Pharmacy
Primary Specialty: Infectious Disease
Dr. Schafer received his doctor of pharmacy degree from Duquesne University in 2004 after which he completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh. He then completed a second year of residency training by specializing in infectious diseases pharmacotherapy at The Ohio State University Medical Center in 2006. He is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist and he recently received his HIV Expert Certification from the American Academy of HIV Medicine. He is presently completing his Masters of Public Health degree at the Jefferson School of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University.
Type of Patient Population Served
Dr. Schafer’s current area of focus is HIV medicine. This patient population can be very challenging due to the complex medication profiles patients are receiving, the importance of medication adherence and the sensitive nature of this disease state.
Roles and Responsibilities
As part of a multidisciplinary team, Dr. Schafer’s current responsibilities include the evaluation of both newly diagnosed and treatment experienced patients to receive antiretroviral therapy. This evaluation includes the application of current clinical guidelines and supporting literature to identify candidates for antiretroviral therapy, and determine the most appropriate agents to be used given a patient's comorbid conditions and current medications. Education of patients regarding their medications and emphasizing strategies to maintain adherence to therapy are also essential tasks performed by the pharmacist specializing in HIV medicine.
How I Got Where I am Today
After residency, I served as the infectious diseases clinical pharmacy specialist at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, St. Margaret Hospital. I remained at St. Margaret for nearly 3 years before becoming an assistant professor in the department of pharmacy practice at the Jefferson School of Pharmacy at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Advice for Students Pursuing this Career Path
Becoming a clinical pharmacist will require a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Completion of a pharmacy practice residency is not required, but is highly recommended. In order to learn the skills necessary to become an effective practitioner in a specialty field, completion of a specialty practice residency is also highly recommended. Many clinicians go on to sit for the pharmacotherapy specialization exam administered by the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties, which recognizes expertise in advanced practice. My advice is to take advantage of opportunities as a student or resident that can expose you to a variety of pharmacy practice settings. This will enable you to have a good understanding of all of the options available for pharmacists and allow you to make well informed decisions about your future in the field.
Professional Organizations/Activities Outside Day-to-Day Job Responsibilities
Dr. Schafer has contributed to many professional pharmacy organizations including ASHP, ACCP, the Society for Infectious Diseases Pharmacists and the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association. Specifically he has provided presentations, including continuing education programs at professional meetings for several of these pharmacy societies.
You can reach me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org