Mitchell S. Karlan

Obituary
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December 2, 1927 - April 24, 2014 Mitchell S. Karlan, M.D., passed away peacefully on April 24, 2014, surrounded by his family. Mitch was an amazing surgeon, a leader in the medical community, a great athlete and an especially wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He loved life and lived it with passion. He loved to laugh and was especially kind and charming. Mitch was born in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the Air Force, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant, earning enough financial aid under the G.I. Bill to pay for two and a half years of college, which is exactly how long it took him to graduate from the Ohio State University, Summa Cum Laude and Valedictorian of his class. While at Ohio State, Mitch played on the Varsity Tennis Team and, more importantly, met the love of his life, Judith Tyroler. Mitch earned his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School and completed his medical training with a Fellowship in Surgical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. In 1961, Mitch and Judy moved to Los Angeles, where Mitch practiced medicine for the next 50 years, treating thousands of patients with kindness, compassion and great skill. His warm smile, unwavering confidence and boundless love gave comfort to those who needed healing. Mitch was committed not only to his patients, but also to advancing the medical profession. He was an instructor in the USC Department of Surgery for over twenty years and published more than 35 articles on surgical and oncologic subjects. He held countless positions of leadership in the medical community, including President and Chairman of the Board of the Los Angeles County Medical Association; Chairman of the Board of the Southern California Physicians Insurance Exchange (SCPIE) - a NYSE listed company that provided medical malpractice insurance for physicians and hospitals; Member of the Board of Trustees of the California Medical Association; Chairman of the American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs; Director, Cedars-Sinai Breast Center; Board of Governors, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Board of Trustees and Vice-Speaker of the House of Delegates, American Society of General Surgeons; President of the Division of Licensing and Chairman of the Medical Board of the State of California. In 1988, Mitch was the American Cancer Society's Man of the Year. Mitch loved to play golf with his friends, travel the world with his wife and family and tell jokes, although his friends strongly encouraged him to stick to surgery. He was also a very good bridge player, as aggressive at playing cards as he was in fighting disease. While he was beloved by his patients and friends, Mitch, aka "Joe," was even more adored by his family. He was the greatest husband, father and grandfather anyone could ever hope to have. Mitch is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Judith; his four children Dr. Scott (Dr. Beth), Mark (Sylvia), Cindy and Craig (Alisa); and his eight grandchildren Matthew, Jocelyn, Jesse, Ryan, Jennifer, Joseph, Sydney and Dylan. Services will be held Monday, April 28 at 12:00 PM at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, 90045. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Mitchell S. Karlan, M.D. Surgical Lectureship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center by calling (323) 866-7763, or by sending an Email to Ann McBride at McBrideA@cshs.org.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Apr. 27, 2014
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