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Michael D. Wertheimer, MD, FACS Joins BIDMC as Director of the BreastCare Center

Plans to build upon reputation of excellence in cancer care

  • Date: 12/3/2010
  • Phone: 617-667-1361

BOSTON - Michael D. Wertheimer, MD, FACS, has joined Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as section chief of breast surgery in the Roberta and Stephen R. Weiner Department of Surgery. He was also named director of BIDMC's multidisciplinary Breast Cancer and BreastCare Center.

"Dr. Wertheimer brings to BIDMC a distinguished reputation as a leading breast disease expert and a track record for building programs that provide the highest quality care and service," said Mark Callery, MD, FACS, chief of general surgery at BIDMC.

"I could not be more excited about the opportunity to work with the wonderful world class team of caregivers at BIDMC and build on the medical center's reputation for excellence in cancer care, medical and radiation oncology, diagnostic breast imaging, and breast pathology," said Wertheimer. "That means offering exceptional access, service and quality for patients in our community, with care always built on leading edge research strategies."

The BreastCare Center, which is part of BIDMC's Cancer Center, provides comprehensive care from routine screenings to the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. It is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of breast specialists, including breast surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, breast pathologists, plastic surgeons, oncology nurses and nurse practitioners, social workers and physical therapists.

Wertheimer comes to the medical center from Cambridge Hospital where he was founding director of the Cambridge Breast Center, which he directed from 2005 to 2010. From 1977 to 2005, Wertheimer was professor and vice chair of the Department of Surgery at UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester, where he also held various other leadership appointments, including associate chief medical officer and interim chief of surgical oncology.

At UMass Memorial, Wertheimer was founder and Director of the UMass Comprehensive Breast Center, which has become a model for efficient multidisciplinary care in breast cancer management, also focused on reaching out to underserved populations and expediting evaluation and treatment of breast abnormalities.

Wertheimer received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed his surgical residency at the former Beth Israel Hospital, before becoming chief surgical resident in general surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. After completing his residency, he joined the faculty at UMass Medical School, where he helped create and direct many new clinical programs in general surgery, trauma surgery and surgical oncology. Wertheimer was also the founding director of the UMass Breast Center which he led as director for 25 years.

Since 2005 Wertheimer has been an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School giving lectures and seminars on breast disease and breast cancer management to third-year medical students and surgical residents, mentoring them in the type of multidisciplinary care he developed at UMass.

Wertheimer has received numerous teaching excellence and clinical leadership awards. In 2009, he received the Teaching Award in Family Medicine Residency from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). In 2000, Wertheimer initiated an international, bidirectional surgical exchange program in Shanghai, China. As a result of the exchange, a trainee from the program opened a first of its kind comprehensive, multidisciplinary breast cancer center at a hospital in Shanghai.

Wertheimer is extensively published and currently serves as an editorial reviewer for the Archives of Internal Medicine, JAMA and Preventive Oncology. Intertwined with his academic and clinical work, he has been involved with extensive collaborative research at the clinical and basic science level with a special interest in international cooperative clinical group trials. He has pioneered collaboration in numerous clinical trials involving the establishment, for example, of lumpectomy and sentinel node mapping in breast cancer.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a patient care, teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and consistently ranks among the top four in National Institutes of Health funding among independent hospitals nationwide. BIDMC is clinically affiliated with the Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox. For more information, visit