Professor of Medicine
Nephrology and Hypertension

Professor of Medicine

Professional Bio

Heidi M. Schaefer, MD, is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. A national leader in transplantation and education, she was named in 2022 medical director of the Adult Solid Organ Transplant Center at VUMC.
Dr. Schaefer previously served as medical director of the Living Kidney Donor Program and medical director of 6MCE Medical/Surgical Transplant Unit at VUMC. She played a key role in the dramatic growth of the kidney program from 100 kidney transplants in 2004 to more than 300 in 2021.

She is known as an exceptional, patient-centered physician. She has a large clinical practice and repeatedly garners patient satisfaction awards for her empathy and honest, open communication with patients.

Dr. Schaefer has participated as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on numerous pharmaceutical trials and has mentored multiple transplant fellows and medical students on transplant-related clinical research projects leading to presentation of novel ideas, both at the local and national level, with publications in highly regarded transplant journals.

She has won numerous teaching awards and has also mentored countless medical students, residents, fellows and transplant staff. She has served in leadership roles in the American Society of Transplantation, National Kidney Foundation and the United Network for Organ Sharing.


MD - University of Cincinnati - 1998
Internship - and Residency Internal Medicine - University of Pittsburgh - 2001
Fellowship - Nephrology - University of Pittsburgh - 2003
Fellowship - Transplant Fellowship - University of Pittsburgh - 2003