by Vicente Vitela
Los Angeles Valley College football is fortunate to have Dr. Richard D. Ferkel as their team physician. He has worked in the NBA and continues to bring that type of experience and excellence to the Monarch football team.
Steph Curry, who is arguably the best player in the NBA, almost became the biggest bust in the sports history with constant ankle injuries. He was nicknamed glass ankles due to only appearing in 26 games during the 2011-2012 season and his contract and career in doubt. He made the decision to have his ankle examined by Dr. Ferkel who regularly attends and helps out Valley College athletics. After a successful operation, Steph Curry has not had a significant ankle injury since, due in large part to the brilliant expertise of Dr. Ferkel.
“I had a lot of injuries so I followed the surgeons and enjoyed their involvement in sports medicine,” said Dr Ferkel, talking about how he got involved in sports medicine.
DR. Ferkel grew up in Illinois and found himself playing football for UCLA, but over time he accumulated several injuries and focused on gaining medical school admittance. He attended Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago but eventually returned to UCLA to accomplish his orthopedic residency training. When Dr. Ferkel isn’t helping out athletes, he is the director of a sports medicine fellowship program with over 40 doctors at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute.
When it comes to his patients Dr. Ferkel said ” I take great pride in my work and it is important to make sure that my patients are doing well!”
The Monarchs had a perfect 11-0 season, including a bowl victory over Southwestern college and the man who helped keep the players healthy was Dr Ferkel, who was encouraged by Angelo Cimity many years ago to help out at Valley College and has been here since 1982, and has been one of the keys to success for over 20 local high schools and Valley college athletics for many years. Dr. Ferkel has been a valuable asset to the team and many people are confident that he and his sports medicine fellows and the valley training staff will keep these players healthy for many years to come.
Dennis Mestas has been the team trainer since 2008 and works alongside Ferkel on game days said, “That guy is a true professional and the way that he cares for these athletes is unbelievable”
Dr. Ferkel has been selected to be in Castle Connolly’s book “The Best Doctors in America” while being referred to work on some of the best athletes in America: including Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio, Philadelphia 76’ers center Joel Embiid,, MLB hall of fame inductee Frank Thomas , as well as a number of Golden State Warrior team players.. Dr. Ferkel specializes in ankle, foot, knee, shoulder, and cartilage restorations,and has also worked with the U.S. Olympic teams, the Special Olympics and serves as a consultant to the NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA.
When asked why he helps out so much in the community Dr. Ferkel said;
” Its my way of giving back to the community.”