News at the institute

Dr. Richard Weiner Highlighted in “On Personality”

January 05, 2016

Dr. Richard Weiner is a noted Dallas neurosurgeon who specializes in a comprehensive approach to minimally invasive treatment of neck and back problems. He has clinical privileges at Texas Institute for Surgery at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas, and other local and international hospitals.

Where did you grow up?
I was raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles and attended undergraduate school at UC Berkeley in the turbulent 1960s.

Why medicine, neurosurgery?
I transferred to UCLA in my third year, switching majors from chemistry to microbiology as I realized I was drawn more towards the biological sciences. I was not premed but let’s just say the Vietnam War incentivized me to pursue a career in Medicine and in my third year of medical school, I rotated on Neurosurgery and was immediately attracted to both the neuroscience aspects as well as the incredible variety of clinical challenges and surgical solutions the specialty offered. My first job out of neurosurgery residency from NYU in New York City was an academic opportunity at UTMB in Galveston.
I loved the independence of doing research, teaching, and running a clinical training program, however, after almost 7 years in academics, I decided to relocate to Dallas and joined an established neurosurgery group in the private setting, Dallas Neurosurgical & Spine, based at Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas.

What types of clinical research do you do?
I have continued to be involved in a variety of clinical research projects including obtaining a method patent for developing the innovative techniques of occipital and supraorbital nerve stimulation to control chronic migraine and other headaches which are now performed worldwide. I also enjoy providing the full gamut of Neurosurgical care, be it complex spine, delicate brain surgeries, or dealing with surgically correctable chronic pain issues such as Trigeminal Neuralgia.

Does your practice extend beyond Dallas?
I have always enjoyed international travel and the ability to interact professionally in different practice situations. I have performed surgery in Germany, France, Mexico, and for the past three years, in Saudi Arabia. It has been a tremendously rewarding experience, both professionally and personally, to be able to provide medical care in very diverse cultures such as the Middle East.

You were selected by other physicians as “most desirable to care for a loved one” what do you attribute that to?
I find when people are hurt or ill, it doesn’t matter who they are or where they are; they want to trust their doctor, receive the best care possible, get better, get on with their lives and return to their families.

Your job must be very stressful. What do you do to relax?
Neurosurgery can be very stressful at times and my outlets have been flying and travel. I have been a pilot for 31 years and hold a variety of ratings including Airline Transport Pilot, Commercial Helicopter Pilot and special ratings for the L39 Russian fighter jet, HawkerBeech Premier Business Jet, and I am currently training in the Mi-24 Russian Hind Helicopter to exhibit and fly in US airshows.
I enjoy the beach, mountains, boating and snow skiing but have to admit to a penchant for lying on the beach with a book and a skinny margarita!

Tell us about any international projects that you are working on.
I am now working with a group to develop an American Surgical Hospital in Barbados for the medical tourism trade from South America, Canada, the UK and the US. And, yes, they have great beaches!

What charities do you support?
I am a member of the Veterans Airlift Command. This is a national organization of pilots who volunteer to fly injured vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to visit their families during stateside hospitalization and afterwards as well.