Dr. Ralph Gambardella shares his perspectives on the Father Of Sports Medicine – Dr. Robert Kerlan
In 1965 Kerlan co-founded the famed Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles with Dr. Frank Jobe. Kerlan was well-known as the long-time physician of the three main Los Angeles professional sports teams: the Dodgers, Lakers and Rams, where his title was medical director.
Dr. Ralph Gambardella, an orthopedic surgeon at the Kerlan-Jobe Institute, worked with Kerlan from 1982 until Kerlan’s 1996 death.
“There was no sports medicine and Kerlan recognized that taking care of athletes required a different approach,” Gambardella told IBD. “Athletes have special-needs problems, expectations, recovery and return-to-play time frames to deal with. All of that required the continuous development and evolution of new and innovative techniques and treatments.”
“No one else was doing that at that time, which is why we refer to Dr. Kerlan as the Godfather of Sports Medicine,” Gambardella said.