The Legacy of Dr. Stanley James

Photo of Dr. Stanley James

Stanley L. James, MD
1931 – 2022 

Dr. Stanley James, a native of Iowa, graduated from the University of Iowa Medical School in 1962. Directly after completing his undergraduate studies at Iowa, Dr. James went on active duty as an army aviator. Once returning to Iowa for medical school, he continued as an Iowa National Guard Aviator until his medical school graduation.

While completing his residency in orthopedic surgery at Iowa, Dr. James collaborated with Exercise Physiologist, Charles Tipton Ph.D. They studied the influence of exercise on ligament healing, finding that exercise actually enhanced ligament healing as opposed to immobilization, which was the standard of treatment at that time. Published in The American Journal of Physiology in 1970, this study was several years before early motion became a standard of treatment post ligament surgery in orthopedics. During residency, Dr. James enjoyed his involvement on staff with the Iowa Athletic Department.

After completion of residency in 1967, he moved to Oregon to join Dr. Donald Slocum, one of the fathers of sports medicine. Dr. James focused on Sports Medicine, with an emphasis on the knee and runners’ injuries.

In the early 1970s, he collaborated with the legendary University of Oregon track coach, Bill Bowerman, also co-founder of Nike. Dr. James was a member of Bowerman’s select think-tank for shoe design.
Keeping a close connection with research, Dr. James was involved with biomechanical studies at the University of Oregon on the design and effect of shoes/orthotics on running gait.

In collaboration with Ph.D.s. Barry Bates, and Louis Osternig, he authored the article, “Injuries to Runners,” published in an early edition of The American Journal of Sports Medicine in 1976. It has become a noted reference for runners’ injuries still today. Dr. James authored over 57 publications both in peer-reviewed journals and requested contributions in books.

Dr. Stan James was a founding member of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports medicine. He was honored as a Godfather for the Herodicus Society. He was a member of the first AOSSM Research committee with Drs. Jim Nicholas, Jack Kennedy, and Bill Allen. Dr. James had been a faculty member and chairman for numerous national and international Sports Medicine meetings. He served as a member of the AAOS Committee for the Knee of the AAOS,’85 to‘88. Dr. James became an honorary faculty member for the Department of Orthopedics at the University of Iowa in 2004.
Dr. James was the Medical Director for the US Olympic Trials in ’76, ‘80, and ‘2008. He also treated the elite runners preparing for the 2012 Olympics as an orthopedic staff member for the 2012 Track and Field Trials. Dr. James also served as an orthopedic consultant for the University of Oregon Athletic Department and a Courtesy Professor at the Motion Analysis Laboratory in the Department of Human Physiology at Oregon.
Dr. James has been honored by receiving the “Distinguished Alumnus Award for Achievement” from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in 2006; he was selected as a member of the “University of Oregon Track and Field Hall of Fame” in 2010 (for medical service). He was also honored with a “Distinguished Alumnus Award for Achievement” from the University of Iowa Alumni Association in 2012 for his contributions to Sports Medicine.

Although Dr. James will be dearly missed, his legacy will proudly continue to live on at Slocum Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.