Dr. Geiss grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and entered the seminary at age 14. When he decided the priesthood wasn’t his calling, he earned degrees in psychology and classical languages from the University of North Dakota, and began postgraduate studies in neurophysiology. “Ultimately I figured out I wasn’t meant to study the soul or the brain, but the heart,” he says.
He went on to earn his medical degree in Texas at Baylor College of Medicine during the pioneering cardiac surgery era of Drs. Michael DeBakey, who led development of the artificial heart, along with other devices and procedures, and Denton Cooley, who performed the first implantation of a total artificial heart. Dr. Geiss completed his residency in General Surgery at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, Calif., and Cardiothoracic Surgery residencies at the University of California and Medical College of Wisconsin. Seeking further training in congenital cardiac surgery, he completed a fellowship in Congenital Heart Surgery at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Geiss began with the pediatric cardiac surgery program at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois within OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, which now ranks among the top six congenital heart programs in the United States.
Dr. Geiss and his wife have two daughters and six grandchildren. He enjoys running, biking and flying.