September 17, 2019

Arnold Weissler, M.D., former chair of Internal Medicine, dies at 92

Arnold Weissler, M.D., a former chair of the Wayne State University School of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine, died Sept. 15. He was 92.

Dr. Weissler was named chair in 1971 and served as the department’s leader for 10 years.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he attended New York University at the age of 16. His education was interrupted when he joined the U.S. Navy as a medic during World War II. After the war he was accepted into medical school at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. He became interested in cardiology and performed an internship at Maimonides Hospital and a residency and cardiology fellowship at Duke University.

He accepted a position at The Ohio State University, and in 1963 was named chief of Cardiology. He held that position until 1971. During these years his research included the refinement and evaluation of Systolic Time Interval in health and disease, and the study of myocardial metabolism. In 1968, Dr. Weissler coined the term “noninvasive” to describe that technique. Another unique research interest, in which he collaborated with NASA, was the study of the electrocardiogram and circulatory hemodynamics changes during space travel.

He became chief of Medicine and Cardiology at the Rose Medical Center in Denver in 1982, and then joined the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in 1989 as professor of Medicine and a cardiovascular consultant until he retired in December 1999.

He was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and chaired the Cardiovascular Diseases Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He served as president of the Central Society of Clinical Research and held numerous administrative positions in the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

He cowrote more than 120 scientific papers, several books and book chapters along with numerous international and honorary lectureships. He served on the editorial boards of 13 scientific journals. He received outstanding teacher awards from The Ohio State Department of Medicine, the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic Cardiovascular Fellows.

He is survived by his wife, Sandra; daughters Suzanne Marcus (William) of Glencoe, Ill., and their children David and Alyssa; Leslie Fishman (Jefrey) of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and their children, Allison, Jamie Kayla and Jeremy; sons Mark (Danette) Weissler of Anchorage, Alaska, and their children, Trevor and Amandi, and great-grandson Connor; Jonathan (Kathleen) of Northbrook, Ill., and their children, Emma and Nathan; and the children’s mother, Gloria Weissler.

Funeral services were conducted by the Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home in Rochester, Minn.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the B’nai Israel Synagogue, 150 7th Ave. SW, Rochester, MN 55902; the Rochester Chamber Music Society, P.O. Box 834, Rochester, MN 55903-0834; or Minnesota Public Radio, 480 Cedar St. Saint Paul, MN.