Dr. Kerstein graduated from Colgate University and received a medical doctorate from the University of Chicago Medical School.
He joined the Navy in 1963 and served two years in Vietnam as a trauma surgeon, then served in Beirut and Desert Storm with the Navy Reserve. Dr. Kerstein retired from the Navy in 1993 as a rear admiral.
While in the Navy, he published a research paper titled "Water as a Tactical Weapon: A Doctrine for Preventing Heat Casualties," setting new guidelines for rapid deployment of troops in hot climates.
During his career, Dr. Kerstein published more than 800 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, and edited and published 18 books and 90 book chapters.
He was a member of more than 40 medical societies and was a distinguished visiting professor worldwide.
His true passion, though, was teaching and mentoring his medical residents and fellows, said his son, Lars.
"He took such pride in the success of his students and fellows, and kept in touch with them throughout their careers," his son said.
Surviving, besides his son, are his wife of 32 years, Margaret Schwedler-Kerstein, and a grandchild.
Services are past. Dr. Kerstein will be buried with full military honors Thursday, April 11, at Arlington National Cemetery.
Donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders, www.doctorswithoutborders.org.
Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 215-854-2611 or email@example.com.