David Tom Cooke, M.D., F.A.C.S. for UC Davis Health

David Tom Cooke, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Professor and Chief, Division of General Thoracic Surgery

Vice Chair for Faculty Development & Wellness

Task-Force Chair, Comprehensive Lung Cancer Screening Program

Director, General Thoracic Surgery Robotics Program

Program Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship

To see if David Tom Cooke is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).




Surgery - Cardiothoracic

Surgery - Thoracic

Surgery - Robotic

Robotic Surgery



Locations and Contact

2221 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

Get Directions

Additional Numbers

Clinic Phone


Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

Dr. Cooke’s philosophy of care motto is “Equality of Great Quality”. Dr. Cooke's theme Song is “Land of Hope and Dreams”, by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Cooke specializes in complex general thoracic surgery, thoracic oncology with a special interest in Lung Cancer and Esophageal Cancer, minimally invasive thoracic surgery, including Robotic Surgery with special interest in Robotic Lung Surgery and Robotic Esophagectomy; interventional bronchoscopy, including EBUS and navigational bronchoscopy; esophageal stenting; tracheal and airway surgery; surgery for mesothelioma, surgical treatment of end-stage achalasia, hyperhidrosis surgery, diaphragm plication and diaphragm pacing; complex esophageal reconstruction for discontinuity.

Additional interests include student mentoring, and community engagement and leadership.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Cooke's research interests involve clinical studies including oncologic trials, surgical outcomes/health services research, patient-centered outcomes research, translational research, surgical education and medical social media. Dr. Cooke has authored over 100 scholarly products, including peer-reviewed manuscripts and text-book chapters.


Thoracic Surgery

Center/Program Affiliation

Cardiovascular Services
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
UC Davis Medical Group
Center for Healthcare Policy and Research

Undergraduate School

B.A., UC Berkeley, Berkeley CA 1994

Medical School

M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston MA 1999


Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston MA 1999-2000


Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston MA 2000-2006


Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Research Fellow, Stanford CA 2002-2004


Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor MI 2006-2008

UC Davis Health Diamond Doc Award - Patient Appreciation, 2021

Cancer Health Magazine; The Cancer Health 25: Black Lives Matter recognition, 2021

UC Davis Medical Center Chief of Staff Award, 2021

Accepted as American College of Surgeons Associate Member of the Academy of Master Surgeon Educators™, 2020

2019 UC Davis Deans' Award for Excellence in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, 2020

UC Davis Department of Surgery Leadership Award Outstanding Faculty Leader Inside and Outside of the Operating Room, 2020

UC Davis Joan Oettinger Memorial Award for outstanding research in cancer, 2020

U.S. News & World Report National Ranking for Pulmonology and Lung Cancer Surgery, 2019, 2020

U.S. News & World Report High Performing Hospitals, Lung Cancer Surgery, 2019, 2020

Sacramento Magazine's 2018 List of Top Doctors, 2018

U.S. News & World Report High Performing Hospitals, Lung Cancer Surgery, 2018, 2019

2017 Deans' Award for Excellence-Inspirational Faculty Educator, 2018

Thoracic Surgery Foundation The Levi Watkins Innovation and Leadership Development Scholarship, 2018

Sacramento Magazine's 2017 List of Top Doctors, 2017

U.S. News & World Report High Performing Hospitals, Lung Cancer Surgery, 2017, 2018

Castle Connolly Top Doctor in America - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, 2015

Elected to Membership to the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, 2015

University of California Alumni Association Excellence in Achievement Award, 2015

To view Dr. Cooke's publications, please click here.

Antonoff MB, Mitzman B, Backhus L, Bradbury ST, Chatterjee S, Cooke DT, Crestanello J, Goldstone AB, Kim KK, Nguyen TC, Romano JC, Vaporciyan AA, Varghese TK. Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Virtual Conference Taskforce: Recommendations for Hosting a Virtual Surgical Meeting. Ann Thorac Surg. 2021 Jan;111(1):16-23. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.10.008. PMID:33137298.

Erkmen CP, Ortmeyer KA, Pelletier GJ, Preventza O, Cooke DT; Society of Thoracic Surgeons Workforce on Diversity and Inclusion. An Approach to Diversity and Inclusion in Cardiothoracic Surgery. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Dec 17:S0003-4975(20)32121-4. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.10.056. Online ahead of print. PMID:33345789.

Ortmeyer KA, Raman V, Tiko-Okoye CS, Espinosa JA, Cooke DT, Starnes SL, Erkmen CP. Goals, organizational change, advocacy, diversity literacy, and sustainability: A checklist for diversity in cardiothoracic surgery training programs. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020 Dec 3;S0022-5223(20)33199-8. doi:10.1016/j.jtcvs.2020.11.112. Online ahead of print. PMID:33461808.

Wan MA, Clark JM, Nuño M, Cooke DT, Brown LM. Can the Risk Analysis Index for Frailty Predict Morbidity and Mortality in Patients Undergoing High-Risk Surgery? Ann Surg. 2020 Nov 17. doi:10.1097/SLA.0000000000004626. Online ahead of print. PMID:33214473.

Ortmeyer KA, Raman V, Tiko-Okoye C, Espinosa J, Cooke DT, Erkmen C. Women and Minorities Underrepresented in Academic Cardiothoracic Surgery: It's Time for Next Steps. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Nov 5;S0003-4975(20)31851-8. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.08.057. Online ahead of print. PMID:33461808.

Bryan DS, Ferguson MK, members of the Delphi Lobectomy Cooperative. Consensus for Thoracoscopic Left Upper Lobectomy-Essential Components and Targets for Simulation. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Oct 27;S0003-4975(20)31739-2. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.06.152. Online ahead of print. PMID:33127408.

Brown LM, Gosdin M, Cooke DT, Apesoa-Varano EC, Kratz A. Health-Related Quality of Life after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer: Conceptual Framework and Measurement. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Jul 21;S0003-4975(20)31112-7. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.05.080. Online ahead of print. PMID:32707197.

Erkmen CP, Kane L, Cooke DT. Bias Mitigation in Cardiothoracic Recruitment. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Jul 18:S0003-4975(20)31171-1. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.07.005. Online ahead of print. PMID:32693040.

Mustoe MM, Clark JM, Huynh TT, Tong EK, Wolf TP, Brown LM, Cooke DT. Engagement and Effectiveness of a Smoking Cessation Quitline Intervention in a Thoracic Surgery Clinic. JAMA Surg. 2020 Jul 1;155(9):1-7. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2020.1915. Online ahead of print. PMID:32609348

Jim Conwell, lung cancer survivor

Lung Cancer Screening - It is Here, David Cooke, M.D.

Lung Cancer Screening for High-Risk Individuals


Virtual Tumor Board Project


Appropriate Use of Robotics in Cardiothoracic Surgery

Mitigating Cardiothoracic Surgical Global Health Disparities: A CTSNet ‘World Hall’ Discussion