Kenneth Weiss is no stranger to hard work. A Memphis native, Kenneth serves his community as an orthopedic surgeon at OrthoSouth. In high school, Kenneth was active on the wrestling team and frequently played tennis growing up and in college. In addition, he has always been an avid runner. His interest in medicine began early when he worked for a cardiothoracic surgeon in school. As he looked ahead toward a career path, one thing seemed natural: sports medicine. Kenneth graduated from Memphis University School in 1987, after which he attended the University of Texas in Austin. He returned home, finished medical school at the University of Tennessee, and subsequently attended LSU for his residency. 

Kenneth completed a shoulder and knee surgery fellowship in Jackson, MS, at the Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopedics Center in 2001 and has been in practice in Memphis ever since. 

As a surgeon and orthopedic physician, his professional responsibilities claim many hours of his week, but he still finds time to stay active. Most recently, he has taken on the grueling yet rewarding culture of triathlons. 

“My goal was to complete a half-Iron Man competition by age 50.” To dedicate himself to his training for triathlons, Dr. Weiss commits an hour in the morning for training, two days per week each to swimming, running, and biking, doubling up on the weekends. Although he missed his deadline due to COVID-19, he eventually succeeded in completing the St. Jude Half Iron Man in 2021. 

“Cycling is what scared me the most. As a surgeon, I would have patients come in with injuries related to cycling fairly often.” He didn’t let that deter him from continuing to train. He’s since participated in multiple local triathlon events, including the Memphis in May Triathlon, the Annie Oakley Buffalo Bill Triathlon at Shelby Farms, and the Dragon Fly Triathlon. He plans to complete his next triathlon in the Summer of 2025. 

“They didn’t teach us in school how to deal with the patient outcomes that are not successful. It’s something I had to learn how to do.” Training in medicine and training for triathlons is similar. “We are so good sometimes as doctors at forgiving and helping others. However, we don’t often forgive ourselves in the same way.” According to Dr. Weiss, “Any kind of training requires perseverance,” and perseverance requires grace with oneself. The best way to deal with unwanted outcomes is to learn to accept them and move forward. “The best thing I can do for my patients is to care for myself, and I do that through working out and meditation.” 

As a husband and father of three, “I tell my kids all the time that life is hard. Even as a doctor, I’m not smarter or better than anybody; I just went to school a bit longer.” Kenneth has lived a life of healthy, serial challenges and has enjoyed conquering his goals. There is no hidden secret. In fact, there’s truth in the cliches. His philosophy is simple, “Treat others the way you want to be treated, and be nice.” Setbacks, unfavorable outcomes, and challenges can be overcome. As Dr. Weiss says, “It may just take a little hard work to do it.” 

To find local triathlons, visit

By Amanda Tompkins 

Photo by Tindall Stephens