Dr. Robert Kelly CHKD Blocks

(757) 668-7703
Board Certifications

American Board of Surgery

Pediatric Surgery


Medical School: Johns Hopkins University

Residency: Vanderbilt University

Fellowship: UCLA School of Medicine

Fellowship: Children's Hospital of Buffalo


Robert E. Kelly, Jr., M.D., FACS, FAAP, is a Board Certified Pediatric and General Surgeon. Currently retired from clinical practice, Dr. Kelly continues to provide administrative support to the Pediatric Surgery division at CHKD. He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1985. He completed his General Surgery Residency at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and his Pediatric Surgery Fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Dr. Kelly also completed an ECMO and Surgical Research Fellowship at UCLA School of Medicine.

Dr. Kelly joined Children’s Surgical Specialty Group-Pediatric Surgery in 1994 with special interests in chest wall deformities, inguinal hernias and newborn anomalies. Dr. Kelly has introduced new surgical techniques with Dr. Nuss, developer of the Nuss procedure. Since his arrival at CHKD, Dr. Kelly has pioneered many well-regarded research collaborations, including ongoing work with Old Dominion University's engineering department to develop a simulator for teaching surgeons the Nuss procedure. He has also collaborated with ODU's department of psychology which has grown out of the multicenter study assessing body image on pectus carinatum patients. In 2014, Dr. Kelly received the title of Adjunct Professor of Modeling and Simulation Engineering with Old Dominion University/Batten College of Engineering and Technology Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Engineering.

Dr. Kelly was the Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters beginning in 1998 until early 2022. He was previously the Vice President for Surgical Affairs/Surgeon in Chief for Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters until his retirement in April 2022. He served on the Medical Executive Committee for over 15 years. He holds the academic appointment of Professor of Clinical Surgery and Pediatrics in the Department of Surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Dr. Kelly has been the Program Director for an intensive international pectus workshop and training course each year at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters since 2008.

  • American College of Surgeons (fellow)
  • American Pediatric Surgical Association (fellow)
  • American Academy of Pediatrics Surgical Section
Special Interests
Honors & Awards
  • Coastal Virginia Magazine "Top Doc" 2014-2022
  • Health Care Hero, Inside Business 2017

Dr. Kelly's published research can be viewed at PubMed

Recent publications

A Note from Dr. Kelly

“It has been exciting to be part of CHKD’s transition from a good community hospital to a world leader over the last 20 years. On a daily basis, everyone seeks the best for the patient and works together to obtain it. Not in theory or on paper, but in reality.”