Medical Alumnus Encourages Others to Give Back
Although it has been nearly 50 years since Stuart R. Weiss, M.D. ’71, graduated from the University of Miami School of Medicine, he is still dedicated to ensuring the future of his medical alma mater.
Weiss, an endocrinologist, has been a generous supporter of the medical school for more than 40 years. His first gift to the school came just three years after graduation.
“I was very grateful for the education I received,” he said.
Now nearly 72 years old and the father of three grown sons, Weiss is hoping to encourage others to give back. He says without UM’s medical school, he and many of his classmates wouldn’t have gotten the quality medical education they received.
“That is the basis of how we made a living for our entire adult lives,” Weiss said. “The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine afforded us a first-rate medical education.”
Before retiring, Weiss practiced in San Diego, California. Board certified both in internal medicine and endocrinology, he was medical director and principal investigator of the San Diego Endocrine and Medical Clinic.
His philanthropic efforts began in 1974 with medical scholarships, but, in 2014, he pledged $50,000 to double the Suzanne R. and Dr. Lawrence M. Fishman Endowment Fund, which provides funding for the Lawrence M. Fishman/Jay S. Skyler Visiting Professor Program.
In 2017, he pledged another $25,000 to that fund, as well as $25,000 to the Endocrinology Division Fund.
Weiss also took the lead in efforts to establish the Class of 1971 Endowed Scholarship fund, offering $25,000 in matching funds. The fund needs $20,000 more in commitments to begin awarding scholarships.
To date, his lifetime contribution to the Miller School totals more than $166,000.
Much of that support honors Weiss’s longtime mentor, Lawrence M. Fishman, M.D., Professor Emeritus, with whom he trained during his fellowship and still maintains a strong friendship.
“People remember certain milestones in their life, graduating high school or college, getting married, or the birth of a child,” Weiss said. “I have all of those memories, but I also have an additional memory of being mentored by Dr. Lawrence Fishman, who has a tremendously valuable perspective on life. He taught me so much more than endocrinology.”
Fishman retired in 2008 after serving on the faculty and at the Miami VA Medical Center as Chief of Endocrinology and Metabolism for more than 40 years. He recalls Weiss as a stand-out fellow, who was dedicated to seeking out relevant information, had an incredible attention to detail, and fierce devotion to the care of his patients.
“I have had the pleasure of being Stuart’s mentor, colleague, and friend,” Fishman said. “He has had such an admirable career, much of it fostered at UM. His recognition of the Division’s influence on his professional life is demonstrated by the wonderful gifts he made to the Division, as well as to the medical school, and for that, I am very appreciative.”
Ernesto Bernal-Mizrachi, M.D., chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, said Weiss’s generosity supports important enrichment activities for his fellows.
“Thanks to Dr. Weiss’s support, we are able to bring world-renowned experts to the University of Miami,” said Bernal-Mizrachi, who is also a professor of medicine. “Such interactions enhance our academic environment and allow for interactions with faculty, which ultimately foster collaborations.”
Weiss grew up in South Florida, and attended Coral Gables High School. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas before enrolling at UM. He recalls the curriculum as being rigorous, but says he enjoyed every single day.
In 1976, he started practicing medicine, but later shifted his interest more toward clinical research.
Weiss was instrumental in the research, development and Federal Drug Administration approval of Merck’s breakthrough osteoporosis drug, Fosamax (alendronate sodium) and served as principal investigator on more than 280 studies of investigational therapies for a variety of endocrine disorders.
He has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine and has authored or co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles. He also has appeared on several national news broadcasts, such as Good Morning America and NBC Nightly News.
He hopes his legacy is one of a grateful student, who supported his school.
“I have been very fortunate, and I want to share my good fortune with others,” he said.