2014 Top Doctor: Jeffrey Vaughn, DO

Written by PM Staff Category: Profiles Issue: April 2014
Group Limited


Med School/Year Graduated: Kirksville College of Osteopathic medicine, 2002
Years in Practice: 11

What inspired you to enter the sports medicine field?
I love sports and I love working with youth. As the director of youth sports medicine at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, I do both.

Were you athletic growing up?  
I played various sports while growing up: soccer, football and other school sports. I’ve always enjoyed weight lifting. More recently I participated in a couple of triathlons with my oldest son. He is much better than I am, but it is fun doing things together.

What sports injuries do you treat most often?  
Knee injuries, especially anterior cruciate ligament tears. That’s a frequent injury in high school and sometimes junior high sports.  One of the things I like most about sports medicine is the variety of injuries we get to take care of, from shoulder dislocations to labral tears in the hip to ankle fractures.  The variety makes it fun.

What is the hardest part about treating sports injuries in young athletes?
It’s hard seeing the heartache athletes go through when they learn they have a serious injury and how long they will be out of the sport they love. On the other hand, seeing them return after they have recovered makes up for it. That part is fun.

What should parents know in order to prevent sports injuries in their child athletes?  
Overuse injuries are common in young athletes. Give your body time to adjust to the demands you are placing on it. Learn and follow the safety recommendations for your sport. Train well and train right. Do something you enjoy. When you do get injured, take time to heal.

Who are some of the most memorable athletes you have treated?  
One of the first surgeries I performed after joining Phoenix Children’s Hospital was a ligament reconstruction on a 13-year-old baseball player. He had a good outcome and recently got a scholarship to play baseball at a Division 1 college.