Richard M. Leighton, D.O. established his practice in Brunswick County in 1996. The practice became Leighton Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, P.C. when it moved to the present location in 2006. Dr. Leighton is a native of Charlotte, NC and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic medicine, where he also completed a traditional rotating internship followed by his orthopaedic surgical residency program affiliated with the college.

During his residency, Dr. Leighton received training from the team physicians of the Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia '76ers, and the Philadelphia Flyers. He served as chief resident in his final year of residency.

Dr. Leighton is on active staff at Brunswick Community Hospital and Dosher Memorial Hospital. He has served on numerous hospital committees including Peer Review and has served as Chief of Surgery at Brunswick Community Hospital. He is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Leighton also serves as a oral board examiner (for other orthopaedic surgeons obtaining board certification). He holds memberships in the American Osteopathic Association, American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, North Carolina Medical Society, Board member of the North Carolina Osteopathic Medical Association, and a member of the North Carolina Orthopaedic Society.