Dr. Stuart Marshall practices good health


Dr. Stuart Marshall is an orthopedic surgeon who was born and raised in Chicago. Although he’s been a California resident for nearly 40 years, he remains a huge Cubs fan.

Marshall attended Northwestern University on a wrestling scholarship and received his M.D. from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine.

He moved to La Jolla to join doctors Vernon Palmer and Walter Doren in their practice at the south end of Girard Avenue, where he practices today.

He is also chief of surgery and chief of orthopedic surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital and is a voluntary associate clinical professor at UCSD Medical School in the hip and knee clinic at the VA hospital. Marshall serves as associate reviewer on the editorial board of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

For the last eight years, he has served on the board of trustees for the Bishop’s School and was a team physician for La Jolla High School for more than 25 years. He currently volunteers for the Nomads and San Diego Surf Soccer clubs for their semiannual tournaments.

Marshall and his wife, Anne, have three daughters, a son and eight grandchildren. Three of their children are physicians married to physicians.

What brought you to La Jolla?

Incredible luck. After completing my residency in San Francisco, I was considering an academic position back in Chicago. But the idea of California, especially La Jolla, a wonderful little village we had known through friends and classmates and visited in the past, beckoned. I had lunch with Dr. Walter Doren. We had more than orthopedic surgery in common. He, too, had gone to Northwestern, and his best friend and classmate there had been Ken Kraft, my wrestling coach. And it was Ken’s little brother, Art, my high school wrestling coach, who had encouraged me to consider Northwestern. Wally and Dr. Vernon Palmer offered me the opportunity to practice orthopedic surgery in the village of La Jolla in one of the best community hospitals in the United States, Scripps Memorial.

What are your favorite places to go in La Jolla?

I seek out sunset at the ocean every day at any location. In the evening, my wife and I often walk to town with our dogs, Miles and Buster. There is always something interesting happening and almost always a good breeze off the water. The Scripps family provided such wonderful open spaces and useful public buildings.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add to improve La Jolla?

Return Children’s Beach to the children and move the seals somewhere safe to make everybody happy.

Who or what inspires you?

The American soldier who protects our liberty and freedom; all the great innovators and teachers in medicine who have allowed American medical care to be the best in the world; and Bill Kellogg, who led the effort to save our War Memorial at Mount Soledad.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

George Washington, to get perspective on leadership; Winston Churchill to give us a lecture on what it takes to win, Margaret Thatcher for her wisdom, Malcolm Gladwell to pull it all together and summarize the evening as a new bestseller, five to nine teachers and mentors who have enriched our family and our community: Otto Mower, Gail Baer, Dottie Vogler and Derek Armstrong come to mind. And of course, serving and observing would be my family so that no one would miss out on the conversations and discussions.

Tell us about what you are currently reading.

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, The Wall Street Journal, “Horse Soldiers,” “Lone Survivor” and “Liberty and Tyranny.”

What is your most prized possession?

My family and the wonderful in-laws who have joined our family. Our grandchildren give us great pleasure.

What are your five favorite movies of all time?

“On the Waterfront,” “Godfather,” “Godfather II,” “Breaking Away” and “Bella.”

Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

I have been able to instill in my children the importance of education and continued learning with the idea of being independent, fiscally responsible and helping those in need.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Be active, keep learning and stay involved. Strive each day to be the best at what you do and keep improving. Take care of your body and your spirit. As a medical student years ago, I sewed up a wound on an older fellow. His wisdom has followed me through the years. “If you ain’t got your health, you ain’t got nuttin.’ ” Isn’t that the truth?