Dr. Denis Vaughan is a Reproductive Endocrinologist and the Director of Clinical Research at Boston IVF, where he leads groundbreaking studies to improve outcomes in fertility treatment.
He sees a wide spectrum of fertility patients and has a particular interest in the treatment of patients with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), those with complex fertility issues as well as fertility preservation (both elective egg freezing and cancer related fertility preservation). In addition, Dr. Vaughan’s primary research focus is on sperm quality and male factor infertility.
Denis was born and raised in Cork, Ireland. He was awarded a full academic scholarship to study medicine at The Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland where he graduated with high honors. Whilst at University, Denis was a competitive rugby player. Denis then completed an academic intern year at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin followed by three years of OBGYN training at The Coombe Women and Infants Hospital and The Rotunda Hospital Dublin, the oldest maternity hospital in the world. During this time, Denis led several large research studies, presenting his work internationally and publishing in high impact journals such as the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Denis then moved to Boston to further his training in OBGYN and completed a residency program at Tufts Medical Center. During this time, he was the recipient of multiple academic and research awards including the George W. Mitchell, Jr. Society Excellence on CREOG Examination Award and the George W. Mitchell Jr. Research Award. In addition, he was awarded several grants for his research work including the Turksoy-Marcus Research Grant at Tufts Medical Center, a grant from the New England Fertility Society and Irvine Scientific.
Dr. Vaughan completed his subspecialty fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility here at Boston IVF and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School where he continued his prolific research career, winning multiple grants and awards for his work. Denis’ current research interests include the study of twinning in assisted reproduction, selection methods of sperm and the genetics underlying male infertility, work he conducts at Harvard University.
Dr. Vaughan is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He has been invited to speak nationally and internationally and has authored and contributed to more than 70 peer reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and abstracts. Dr. Vaughan strongly believes in a personalized, evidenced-based approach to fertility treatment.
Why Did You Become a Fertility Expert?
I have had a rather different career path. I initially practiced mostly obstetrics and spent 8 years delivering babies both in Ireland and the United States. Having delivered thousands of babies, which I enjoyed immensely, I felt deeply connected patients who had gone through the emotional and physical rollercoaster of fertility treatment which inspired me to move to the U.S to pursue training. The field of Reproductive Medicine is one of the most rapidly evolving fields in medicine, and so every day I find it both intellectually stimulating and exciting but also so rewarding.
What about working at Boston IVF makes you the most proud?
Boston IVF is a pioneer in the field of reproductive medicine. Clinically, we are one of the busiest fertility clinics in the United States, with a phenomenal embryology laboratory and clinical staff. In addition, we are an academic institution and are closely affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. I have a unique role as the Director of Clinical Research at Boston IVF and I am proud to be able to collaborate with so many brilliant researchers across world class institutions to change practice and improve outcomes in reproductive medicine, as well as teach the next generation of physicians.
What is Your Approach to Patient Care?
I always say that there are three groups of people out there: those who have children, those who don’t have children and don’t want them and those who don’t have children but want to have children. The first two groups have no conception of what the third group are going through, which can be very lonely and isolating. It is my responsibility to support the patients, to help them feel heard and to advocate for them through their fertility journey. I take a team-based approach to patient care. I am only a small part of wonderful team at Boston IVF, all of whom play a vital role in caring for our patients. The nurses, physician assistants, medical assistants, administrative staff and embryologists all support patients, in different ways, through this arduous process. In particular, we are truly fortunate to have a world class integrative health center, led by the marvelous Dr. Ali Domar, to help up support and provide holistic care to our patients.
Have Any Patients Truly Inspired You?
It is impossible to single out individual patients over the years. I strongly believe in personalized care, rather than a cookie cutter approach. I treat every patient or couple as individuals and listen to their hopes, concerns and aspirations and work with my team, alongside the patients, to create a treatment plan that maximizes their likelihood of success. The bravery and tenacity shown by our patients, is truly humbling.
How would you describe your personality?
It’s never easy to be introspective! I am inquisitive and rarely accept the status quo without due diligence. I pride myself on being up to date on the latest medical literature in our field so in that regard I suppose I am quite analytical and thoughtful in my approach to patient care. That being said, I am quite candid and would describe myself as an optimistic realist.