Arnold Peter Weiss
From an early age, Arnold-Peter Weiss found an affinity for fixing things with his hands. Whether it was a broken appliance or car, this need to understand how things work – and how to make them work again – created his foundations for a successful career as an award winning orthopedic hand surgeon.
With roots in Michigan, Peter Weiss decided to strengthen this foundation and begin expanding his knowledge of the medical profession at the University of Michigan, in its Honors College. While only a sophomore, he applied for admission to a combined five year B.A.-M.D. program at Johns Hopkins University. Weiss was one of only 13 students accepted into the program. This honor was not taken lightly, as Weiss would go on to receive his M.D. from the prestigious institution in 1985, while also being awarded several research prizes for his work in the program.
Peter Weiss found his true calling at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Orthopedic Surgery. His interests of understanding the mechanics from an early age was now met with his pursuits in the medical field. Weiss’ natural skills and affinity towards his studies in orthopedics led him into microsurgery, where he chose to become a hand surgeon. Not one to take his foundations for granted, Peter Weiss moved on to a yearlong fellowship in hand surgery at the Indiana Hand Center, training at one of the country’s largest and most noted institutions in the field.
The next step in Peter Weiss’ unique career path brought the prominent surgeon to Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital, where he took on the challenge of becoming an educator. Weiss joined the orthopedic department at the school in 1991 as an assistant professor. While also involved with the school’s science and clinical research efforts, Brown promoted Weiss to a full-time professor six years later in 1997 and with that became the youngest professor of orthopedic surgery in the United States at the time.
Brown University would remain a keystone in Peter Weiss’ professional career. In 2004, the institution appointed Weiss the Dean of Admissions for the Brown Medical School where he served in this capacity until 2012. Using his natural skills in deconstructing and learning, Weiss worked with the school to design new algorithms and a process from scratch for screening new applicants. Previously, Brown University admitted high school graduates to their schools of medicine for combined undergraduate-M.D. programs. Not one to accept the way things always worked, Weiss reconstructed the school’s methods to begin allowing admissions of students that were completing undergraduate studies. Nearly all other medical schools in the United States had policies like this, but Weiss was the first Admissions Dean at Brown to implement such opportunities for its students.
Weiss managed to utilize the tools developed in the role of Dean even after his tenure ended. In gaining better understanding of the admissions process from Deans at other medical schools, he now had a comprehensive perspective into what schools valued and what they looked for in desired applicants. Since 2012, Peter Weiss has advised over 400 students on preparing for medical school admissions and the education that awaits them. An overwhelming majority of these students have gone on to obtain admission to their school of choice.
Peter Weiss is now the R. Scot Sellers Scholar of Hand Surgery, Chief of the Division of Hand Surgery & Upper Extremity Surgery, Professor and Vice Chairman of Orthopedics at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital. In addition to his roles as a university educator and administrator, Weiss is also an internationally recognized hand surgeon at University Orthopedics, specializing in hand and wrist reconstruction, as well as total wrist replacement surgery. The organization is a hybrid of private practice and academic faculty, with 40 physicians available to patients at any given time. Throughout his career, Weiss has performed over 30,000 successful operations. These procedures have included issues that range from carpal tunnel syndrome, to total wrist replacements and complex wrist reconstructions. Weiss’ has served patients from nearly all 50 states and as far abroad internationally as Australia and beyond.
Professionally, Peter Weiss has also found the means to share his knowledge and experiences with peers in the field of orthopedics through various channels. This includes his writings of nearly 200 peer reviewed publications in numerous medical journals, over 300 presentations and lectures given across the world, authoring 7 books, and currently serves as the managing editor of the Textbook of Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery – a 2,000-page, two-volume tome published by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), which is used by practicing hand surgeons globally to acquire insights and the most up-to-date information in the field. Weiss is also the former editor of the Journal of Hand Surgery.
Weiss’ efforts in the medical field can be felt even beyond his work as a prominent orthopedic hand surgeon. Peter Weiss holds the current NIH RO-1 grant, studying thumb arthritis. He also holds multiple U.S. patents for clinically available orthopedic implants. Weiss has also applied his love for mechanics and problem solving in designing nine medical devices that have been sold commercially by some of the largest multinational corporations in the world, helping tens of thousands of patients. Of the medical device companies that he has founded or served as board member, five were strategically acquired, including two by national non-profit organizations.
In addition to his work at Brown University, Peter Weiss also pursues public efforts in the orthopedic and broader medical field. Currently, Weiss serves as an Examiner for American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He is also a Trustee of the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand and with the National Rowing Foundation.
Despite having never pursued a formal degree or education in business himself, Peter Weiss has always maintained a keen interest – even beyond his field of medical expertise. Weiss owns commercial real estate, has run three investment funds, and also owns four restaurants and one car dealership. However, Weiss does relate his business acumen to his work in the medical field by teaching a weekly program to other doctors, covering the business of medicine. This covers curriculum that includes best practices in billing, to stock/bond investing and all aspects of maintaining a profitable practice. Related to his dedication to Brown, Weiss also lectures at the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship of Brown University and is a faculty member of the university’s annual Business of Medicine course.
Peter Weiss is married to Yvonne Weiss, M.D., a retired pediatrician who now owns and operates her own boutique craft shop. Together, the couple has raised five children who have all gone on to graduate with their own professional or medical degrees, including two M.D.s and three MBAs.