department of anesthesia and Perioperative medicine

John J. Schaefer, III, M.D.

John Schaefer, MD
Dr. Schaefer currently holds the position of the Lewis Blackman Endowed Chair with Health Sciences South Carolina.  The endowed chair was named after Lewis Blackman, a 15-year-old South Carolina boy who passed away at the Medical University of South Carolina from an undetected perforated ulcer caused by medication for post-operative pain.  This position was made possible by legislation called the South Carolina Research Centers of Economic Excellence Act passed in 2002 by the General Assembly.  

Often referred to as the Endowed Chairs Program, the legislation uses state lottery funds to promote economic development through research at the state’s three largest research universities: Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina.  Dr. Schaefer’s endowed chair is one of 24 state-approved and funded Centers of Economic Excellence, and is in patient simulation education and research.  Dr. Schaefer is working to establish a statewide network of patient simulator training and research labs and directing associated research activities.  Ultimately there will be seven simulation centers for the state over the next two years planned for Beaufort, Charleston, Clemson, Columbia and Spartanburg.  Greenville Hospital System opened in March, 2007.  The centers will be networked and will use the same systems to train medical, nursing and allied health students each year. This approach to medical training will elevate clinical effectiveness and patient safety.

Dr. Schaefer is a Professor in the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. He received a B.A. in Chemistry, B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a Doctorate of Medicine from West Virginia University from 1981 – 1988 respectively.

Dr. Schaefer has been involved in human simulation with manikin-based simulators since their introduction into medical education in the United States in the early 1990’s. He helped establish the first simulation training center using manikin-based simulators at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Anesthesiology. He was the Director of the center from 1997 to 2006 and led the multi-partnered expansion of the center. Dr. Schaefer co-holds patents for the development of human simulators including the most successful manikin-based human simulators currently on the market (Laerdal SimMan, AirMan), and has fundamentally participated in the development of hardware and software for the latest generation of human simulators of this type. He was the primary contributing author of the latest version of the operating system for this type of simulator and is participating in the beta development of the next generation of manikin-based infant simulators. He has been at the forefront for practical simulation curriculum and applied performance assessment in this arena including the integration of web-based curriculum to create comprehensive, practical and quantifiable medical simulation learning systems. Dr. Schaefer is an internationally recognized educator in the field of airway management. His simulation based airway management training learning system has been adopted by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Medical University of South Carolina as the model for Patient Safety programs of this type being adopted in the Departments of Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, and Critical Care Medicine. These programs include mandatory training, medical privileging licensure, competency assessment, and clinical impact through monitoring insurance claims database information.