After growing up in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Shaffer joined the U.S. Navy and served four years as a hospital corpsman at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital and with the Marine 8th Communication Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Following discharge from the Navy, he attended and graduated from Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, and philosophy.
After graduating in 1985 from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dana Shaffer, DO, completed a rotating osteopathic internship at Des Moines General Hospital. For the next 22 years, he practiced the complete spectrum of rural inpatient and outpatient family medicine, including osteopathic manual medicine, obstetrics, and emergency medicine in Exira, Iowa. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Shaffer has been involved in teaching medical students for more than 30 years at many levels, and currently is the Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education and Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Pikeville - Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pikeville, Kentucky.
Shaffer has lectured nationally and internationally on innovations in medical education and physician assessment, social media and technology issues impacting state medical boards, innovations in rural medical education, and published internationally on raising the awareness of low dose CT scanning to detect lung cancer.
Over his career, Shaffer has received a number of awards and accolades including: Fellowship and Distinguished Fellowship from the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, Physician of the Year from the Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association, Friend of EMS Award from the Iowa EMS Association, and most recently the PCOM Alumni Association Certificate of Honor, which is the highest honor given by the Alumni Association.
Dr. Shaffer has been married to his wife, Joan, for more than 40 years and they have two children and three grandchildren.