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Reflections
August 2014

In Memoriam: Charles W. Vaughan, MD (1926-2014)

Author Affiliations
  • 1Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014;140(8):697. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2014.1180

Otolaryngology lost a pioneer and esteemed colleague on March 26, 2014, when Charles W. Vaughan, MD, died suddenly and unexpectedly. Some otolaryngologists are known to be good surgeons; some are astute diagnosticians; some are innovators; and others are recognized as talented teachers and valued mentors. Charles W. Vaughan was all of them. He worked with Stuart Strong and Geza Jako to enable otolaryngologists to use the carbon dioxide laser for laryngeal surgery. He was one of the first to develop instruments to be used for laryngeal surgery performed with a binocular microscope. Dr Vaughan was a meticulous surgeon who was always thinking about new ways to achieve better surgical results. In many ways, he was a visionary because he never considered standard procedures to be the definitive or appropriate way of managing a patient’s problem.

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