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Dr. David Tom Cooke is Professor and Founding Chief of UC Davis Health Center’s Division of General Thoracic Surgery. He specializes in complex general thoracic surgery and thoracic oncology, with special clinical interests including lung cancers and surgery for malignant mesothelioma. Dr. Cooke is a national leader in robotic thoracic surgery. His skills include minimally invasive thoracic surgery; robotic lung surgery and robotic esophagectomy; interventional bronchoscopy including EBUS and navigational bronchoscopy.
Education and Career
Dr. Cooke earned an undergraduate degree in Immunology at the University of California at Berkeley and his medical degree at Harvard Medical School. His internship and residency in Surgery were completed at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston and were followed by two fellowships in Cardiothoracic Surgery: the first was completed at Stanford University School of Medicine and the second at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.
In addition to being Professor and Founding Chief of UC Davis Health System’s Division of General Thoracic Surgery, he is Vice Chair for Faculty Development and Wellness; Director of the General Thoracic Surgery Robotics Program; Program director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship program; and Task-Force Chair of the Comprehensive Lung Cancer Screening Program.
Dr. Cooke is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, where he is a Governor and associate member of the Academy of Master Surgeon Educators. He is a director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, a member of the board of directors of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and the president of the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association. He is also a volunteer national spokesperson for the American Lung Association.
He has been recognized by Castle and Connolly and Sacramento Magazine as one of America’s Top Doctors. He has authored over 100 scholarly works, including peer-reviewed manuscripts and text-book chapters. He serves on the American Lung Association National Lung Cancer Expert Medical Advisory Panel and is the co-founder of LCSMChat, a bi-monthly lung cancer, patient-centered social media chat and patient engagement network that has attracted over 50,000 participants, 600,000 tweets, and 2 billion impressions since its inception.
Research Interests and Honors
Dr. Cooke’s research and academic interests include oncologic clinical trials, surgical outcomes/health services research, patient-centered outcomes research, translational research, surgical education, and medical social media. He is dedicated to reducing the cancer burden among the underserved and was named by Cancer Health magazine as one of the top 25 individuals breaking down racial barriers to better cancer care. He also enjoys mentoring students and staying involved with the community.
- Society of Thoracic Surgeons
- American Association for Thoracic Surgery
- American Surgical Association
Dr. Cooke is a national leader in the use of innovative surgical approaches for the treatment of lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma. He is dedicated to improving care and patient outcomes and to expanding equity in cancer care.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Oppenheimer has been writing about mesothelioma and asbestos topics for over ten years. She has a degree in English from the College of William and Mary. Terri’s experience as the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog gives her a wealth of knowledge which she brings to all Mesothelioma.net articles she authors.
Page Edited by Patient Advocate Dave Foster
Dave has been a mesothelioma Patient Advocate for over 10 years. He consistently attends all major national and international mesothelioma meetings. In doing so, he is able to stay on top of the latest treatments, clinical trials, and research results. He also personally meets with mesothelioma patients and their families and connects them with the best medical specialists and legal representatives available.