NJ Primary Care Doctor Enjoys Football, Cars and Guitar   

NJ Primary Care Doctor Enjoys Football, Cars and Guitar

Dr. Jae Shim

January 30, 2024

Family medicine specialist Jae Hyun Shim, M.D., is on a mission. He aims to strengthen his local New Jersey Korean American community, ensuring that they get the care they need to maintain wellness across all generations.

A former EMT who originally thought neuroscience might be his calling, Dr. Shim is a veteran of medical missions to underserved countries, such as Peru and its Amazon jungles, and he’s planning to visit Lebanon refugee camps next in his role as ministry mission team leader for his church.

“In family medicine, I want to see everything and do everything,” says Dr. Shim, who practices at Hackensack Meridian Medical Group—Fort Lee. He brings a special relatability to his interactions with patients who have gastrointestinal problems, since he was diagnosed with incurable irritable bowel disease earlier in his life.

He’s watched the notable growth of specialty practice during the past few years and wants to retain his enthusiastic focus on primary care. He says he stressed that when he first interviewed with Hackensack Meridian Health.

“It wasn’t just about joining an excellent health network,” he says. “I grew up in this community, and I want to bring people to this health network, to serve friends and families, and to build bridges in the community.”

What is your favorite part of primary care medicine?

Every medical specialty requires good communication with patients. But primary care and family medicine are about building lifelong relationships in which I can say, ‘Let’s try this’ or ‘We’ll see how you do with this.’ I want my patients to complete their annual wellness exams, so they don’t miss any recommended screenings.

How do you help control your IBD?

I try to stay away from acidic foods and too many carbohydrates. I eat a sweet potato for breakfast, baked or broiled, because they’re high in fiber and contain important vitamins and minerals.

What do you enjoy doing away from your practice?

I’m a fan of college football, and since I’m a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, I have to cheer for the Wolverines. I also play the guitar and enjoy working on cars. I have a 14-year-old sports sedan that I keep in pristine condition.

What’s something you particularly remember about medical school?

I used to record our lectures, and I’d go to the gym early in the morning or at the end of the day, get on the elliptical or treadmill, and watch them on my iPad. People at the gym would ask me about that, but I was all about developing good habits and being consistent—and multitasking!

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