[caption id="attachment_6068" align="aligncenter" width="248"] Dr. Robert and Patt Ann Weber[/caption]
Dr. Robert Weber always thought he was going to be a sports writer when he grew up. Instead, he followed in his father’s footsteps and became a medical doctor.
Dr. C.J. Weber was the first pathologist in Salina, and he inspired his son Robert to become a physician, too. “I had a very active practice, and some of the things I loved about being a doctor were the challenges. Every day was different, and there was a great variety throughout the day,” Dr. Weber said. “I went through a period of medical changes, and technology has grown more rapidly than our ability to pay for it.”
He and his wife, Pat Ann, have lived at Salina Presbyterian Manor for almost 10 years. Dr. Weber received his undergraduate and M.D. degrees from the University of Kansas. During his internship in Madison, Wis., he worked with polio patients during the epidemic of the 1950s. After that, he served in the U.S. Navy as part of the Navy Medical Research Unit, NAMRU4, which researched rheumatic fever and studied acute respiratory diseases with a focus on prevention.
Dr. Weber then returned to KU for an internal medicine residency and remained in Kansas City afterward, working at the Veterans Administration Hospital and then at the KU School of Medicine. From 1954 to 1961 he was chief of infectious diseases, and he practiced with iconic KU physician Dr. Mahlon Delp. In 1961, the Webers and their four children moved to Salina, where Dr. Weber had his own internal medicine practice. He also worked at St. John’s and Asbury hospitals until he retired in 1992.
“He always worked hard and loved teaching,” Pat Ann said. “He was always happy with what he did and was always a good guy. We have been married 68 wonderful years.”
Dr. Weber drew on his research experience when he and Pat Ann began looking for a place to retire. Salina Presbyterian Manor was their first choice, so they put their name on the waiting list for a townhome. “When one of the townhomes came open we took it,” Pat Ann said. “We decided ahead of time we didn’t want to put our kids through what we went through with our parents, and our children are thankful for that.”
Since living here, Dr. Weber has continued to share his enthusiasm and passion for medicine. He became a volunteer instructor at the KU School of Medicine’s Salina campus in 2011, teaching first-year medical students the basics of performing an accurate history and physical exam.
Although none of the Webers’ children chose a career in medicine, Dr. Weber did inspire his grandson, Chris. “I took him to my office when he was 5 years old and performed an echocardiogram on him. And from that day on, he said he was going to become a doctor.” Chris is now a general surgeon, and his wife is a pediatrician in Salina.