Arnis Freiberg was born in Latvia and came to Canada after World War II. After obtaining his MD degree in 1961, he continued at the University of Toronto and trained in general surgery and plastic surgery.
He spent a year in Dr. W.K. Lindsay’s research laboratory before commencing his practice at the Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital) in 1967. He moved to St. Joseph’s Hospital as chief of Plastic Surgery in 1979 and continued to develop his clinical focus on hand surgery. He subsequently relocated to the Hand Unit at the Toronto Western Hospital. Arnis is a past president of the American Association for Hand Surgery but is best known for his skill and dedication to teaching. He ran the Thursday evening seminar series for the residency training program which would always end with a few beers in the pub across the street. He established the first Resident Aesthetic Surgery Clinic at the University of Toronto and continued to be a strong advocate for the residents throughout his career. In his honor, the Arnis Freiberg Teaching Award is given by the graduating senior residents to the best faculty teacher at graduation dinner each year.