2017 Top Doctor: John Kearney, M.D.

Written by Editorial Staff Category: Profiles Issue: April 2017
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Sports Medicine
Med School/Year Graduated: University of Arizona College of Medicine, 2002
Years in Practice: 11

How is sports medicine distinct from regular orthopedic medicine?
We have at least a year of formal extra training specific to problems that athletes face. We also gear our practices towards understanding the athlete’s needs, such as a guarantee in our practice to get in-season athletes seen within two days of injury to not delay care.

What is the single most common bone athletes break? Which fracture would you, personally, least like to suffer? Tibial shear?
The fibula bone in the ankle is a common one and it doubles as a great Scrabble word! As for fractures I’d like to avoid? A skull fracture would be at the top of my list.  

Which sport(s) are you watching or playing in your downtime? Any team loyalties?
I love watching my two boys play for Give-N-Go Hoops club basketball and I love watching my 8-year-old girl play volleyball. I’m also a big fan of March Madness.

Have you ever worked with pro athletes? Who can you name-drop?
We work with pro athletes, but privacy laws don’t allow us to name-drop. However, my practice mainly focuses on youth sports, high school athletes and weekend warriors.   

Any interesting developments in your field that you’re excited about?
We’re getting better at treating chronic tendon injuries such as calcific tendinitis of the shoulder, tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow.

You remain active in academic medicine. What draws you to teaching?
It keeps me honest and keeps me up-to-date. I love interacting with the bright young minds of the future.   
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
My family enjoys wakeboarding, wakesurfing and just hanging out. I also love to snowboard, mountain bike and to play in rec center volleyball leagues. I’ll also take on anyone in ping pong – any time, any place.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be...”  
An aging and frustrated semi-professional pingpong player still trying to get onto the international professional pingpong playing circuit. Or be getting a Ph.D. in epistemology.