Robert K. Kerlan (May 13, 1922 – September 8, 1996) was an American orthopedic surgeon and the co-founder, along with Dr. Frank Jobe, of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. He was regarded as a pioneer in the discipline of sports medicine.
Kerlan was the Los Angeles Dodgers' first team doctor after their move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958, and diagnosed Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax with traumatic arthritis in his left elbow. He also became team physician for other Los Angeles-based sports teams including the Rams, Lakers, and Kings.
Kerlan remained active in his sports medicine practice despite a long-standing case of arthritis that required him to use crutches periodically for years, and permanently after 1977.
Kerlan graduated from Aitkin High School in Aitkin, Minnesota, where he was a star athlete. He started college as a basketball letterman at UCLA, but eventually gave up playing and moved across Los Angeles to the University of Southern California to study medicine.
- "Robert K. Kerlan, Sports Physician, 74", The New York Times, September 9, 1996.
- Abigail Goldman, "Robert Kerlan, Sports Doctor, Dies", Los Angeles Times, September 9, 1996.
- Gary Libman, "No Time Outs: Dr. Robert Kerlan Stays in the Game Despite Severe Arthritis", Los Angeles Times, September 14, 1992.
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