Old Bridge Primary Care Doctor Fluent in Three Languages   

Old Bridge Primary Care Doctor Fluent in Three Languages

Avi Werthaim, M.D.

August 26, 2022

Ofer “Avi” Werthaim, M.D., embraces the belief that it’s better to take care of a small problem before it becomes a big one. That’s one of the reasons the primary care physician is especially well-suited for internal medicine, which focuses on both preventive care and treating patients’ ailments from head to toe. 

“I always wanted to know a little bit about a lot of things instead of knowing a lot about a narrower specialty,” says Dr. Werthaim, who has practiced medicine for 31 years and also treats adults at Cranbury Road Primary Care in East Brunswick, New Jersey. “I wanted to be more well-rounded.” 

Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and a longtime New Jersey resident, the father of three enjoys hiking, swimming and board games with his wife and three daughters. He also relishes the chance to interact with colleagues at medical conferences and recently ticked off a bucket-list goal by attending an Elton John concert.

What inspired you to become a doctor?

I always loved the sciences growing up. I realized that, if given the chance to improve other people’s lives, I would jump on that opportunity and pursue a career in medicine. It wasn’t always easy and there were certainly bumps along the road, but with hard work, I persevered. I am so very grateful and fortunate for the career path I have chosen and would never change it in a million years.

You speak three languages: English, Hebrew and Spanish. How does this enhance your ability to help your patients?

I learned Spanish during my four years in medical school in Guadalajara, Mexico. I would never have imagined that I’d still be fluent in it 38 years later and using it to interact with patients. But a significant portion of the population speaks Spanish as its primary language, and speaking it allows me to really connect with them. It makes these patients more comfortable knowing I understand what they’re saying to me.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

I love the one-on-one contact and getting to know patients over many years. Over the past 28 years, I’ve seen some of my patients in East Brunswick have children and grandchildren. I know their likes and dislikes. When they’re more comfortable, they’re more apt to be honest with me, and I can do everything in my power to help them. That continuity of care is so important.

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