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Reading, stained glass work beckons retired Dr. Larry Weiss

Detecting skin cancer cases early cited as legacy

December 23, 2012
By MIKE DONAHEY - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Dr. Larry Weiss of Marshalltown joked that his next move would get him out the door.

It did, but retirement induced the move.

Weiss, a dermatologist, saw patients for the last time Dec. 14.

Article Photos

This Dec. 5 photo shows Dr. Larry Weiss in his Marshalltown office. Weiss retired from his dermatology practice Dec. 14 after nearly 37 years of service to central Iowans.

But shortly before that day he was having fun making light of his third office location near the front door in the building at 208 E. Church St.

Central Iowans have known it for years as home to a number of dental and medical professionals, among others.

"I started way at the other (north) end ... then in the middle ... I joked my next move would be out the door," he said smiling.

January, 2013 would have marked Dr. Weiss's 37th year of solo practice, dutifully serving the skin, hair and nails needs of central Iowans.

But Weiss said it was time to turn over the skilled work to someone else.

Radiant Complexions Dermatology Clinics assumed care of his patients and Weiss was pleased he was able to arrange continued treatment for them at the same location.

Serving the needs of his many patients professionally has been Weiss's priority.

Reflecting on his many years of service, Weiss said matter-of-factly he was pleased to help many teens.

"By treating acne, and clearing it up, I was able to help teenagers with their self-esteem, which was important to them."

He cited other patients.

"Fortunately in some cases, I was happy I could detect the early stages of malignant melanoma - they are very aggressive and often fatal skin cancer - and direct patients on to medical professionals for more extensive surgery or chemotherapy. On the other side of the token, it was sad when they came in when it was too late and had spread."

Early detection was the key.

"I'd rather they come in and it may be nothing ... than something serious and wished they would have come in sooner."

Weiss developed a reputation which resulted in him generating referrals and respect from Marshalltown area general practitioners and others.

"While in practice I referred many patients to Dr. Weiss," said retired Dr. Terry Briggs of Marshalltown. "Members of my family were his patients as well. He was one of the few remaining solo dermatology practitioners. He was professional and competent."

When active, Dr. Robert Mandsager of Marshalltown also referred patients to Weiss.

"Dr. Weiss was my doctor for a number of dermatology issues I had," said the now retired Mandsager. "He was a good physician."

Weiss was born and raised in Bethume, Colo., a rural farming community, but a career in agriculture was not for him.

College and graduate school at the University of Minnesota, coupled with research, fueled his desire and motivated him to pursue it as a speciality.

He completed residency requirements and earned his medical degree also at Minnesota.

"Dermatology fit my personality and lifestyle schedule," he said. "There is not much evening or weekend work ... it is mainly outpatient."

Dr. William Wessels, an anesthesiologist, invited him to Marshalltown in the mid-1970s.

"I was completing residency ... he called and suggested I come down and take a look," Weiss said. "Our children were young when I came. One thing that impressed me favorably was the school system."

Office staffer Jackie Husseung of Marshalltown was impressed with her boss after four years of employment under his direction.

"It has been awesome working for Dr. Weiss," she said.

Reading, gardening and working in stained glass are some of Weiss's hobbies, and retirement will allow more time to pursue those.

However, the new chapter in his life may open up the opportunity to travel.

He cited several locales under consideration.

"Maybe Europe ... I've always wanted to see the Middle East ... Jerusalem ... the pyramids and sphinxes," he said.



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