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

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



Surgery - Cardiothoracic

Surgery - Thoracic

Surgery - Robotic

Robotic Surgery




  • Associate Professor
  • Head, Section of General Thoracic Surgery
  • Program Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency
  • Task-Force Chair Comprehensive Lung Cancer Screening Program
  • Associate Director Cardiothoracic Robotics Program
  • Vice Chair for Faculty Development & Wellness


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).

UC Davis Medical Center - Cypress Building

2221 Stockton Blvd., Suite 2112
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Clinic Phone: 916-734-3861
Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)



Philosophy of Care

Dr. Cooke's theme Song is “Land of Hope and Dreams”, by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Clinical Interests

Dr. Cooke specializes in general thoracic surgery, thoracic oncology, surgical treatment of malignant and benign esophageal disease, video assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and Robotic surgery with special interest in Robotic pulmonary resection; interventional bronchoscopy, including EBUS and electromagnetic navigational bronchoscopy; EUS, esophageal stenting; tracheal and airway surgery; surgery for mesothelioma, surgical treatment of achalasia, hyperhidrosis surgery, diaphragm plication and diaphragm pacing; complex esophageal reconstruction for discontinuity.

Additional interests include student mentoring, and community involvement.

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.


Cardiothoracic Surgery

Center/Program Affiliation

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


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

B.A., UC Berkeley, Berkeley CA 1994

Internship: 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

Board Certifications

American Board of Surgery, 2006

American Board of Thoracic Surgery, 2018

California DPH Fluoroscopy X-Ray Sup. and Operator,

Professional Memberships

American Association for Thoracic Surgery

Fellow, American College of Surgeons

Harvard Medical School Alumni Association

Massachusetts General Hospital Surgical Society

Society of Thoracic Surgeons

The International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery

Honors and Awards

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

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

Select Recent Publications

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

Backhus LM, Kpodonu J, Romano JC, Pelletier G, Preventza O, Cooke DT. An Exploration of Myths, Barriers and Strategies for Improving Diversity Among STS Members. Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 Oct 5. pii: S0003-4975(19)31552-8. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.09.007. [Epub ahead of print]

Utter GH, Atolagbe OO, Cooke DT. The Use of the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification and Procedure Classification System in Clinical and Health Services Research: The Devil Is in the Details. JAMA Surg. 2019 Sep 25. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2019.2899. [Epub ahead of print].

Erhunmwunsee L, Backhus LM, Godoy L, Edwards MA, Cooke DT. Report from the Workforce on Diversity & Inclusion – Society of Thoracic Surgeons Member’ Bias Experiences. Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 Sep 11. pii: S0003-4975(19)31362-1. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.08.015. [Epub ahead of print].

Clark JM, Boffa DJ, Meguid RA, Brown LM, Cooke DT. Regionalization of esophagectomy: where are we now? J Thorac Dis. 2019 Aug;11(Suppl 12):S1633-S1642. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2019.07.88.

Brown LM, Thibault DP, Kosinski AS, Cooke DT, Onaitis MW, Gaissert HA, Romano PS. Readmission after Lobectomy for Lung Cancer: Not All Complications Contribute Equally. Ann Surg. 2019 Aug 28. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003561. [Epub ahead of print].

Cooke DT, Olive J, Godoy L, Preventza O, Mathisen DJ, Prager RL.  The importance of a diverse specialty – Introducing the STS Workforce on Diversity and Inclusion. Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 Aug 17. pii: S0003-4975(19)31188-9. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.07.007. [Epub ahead of print].

Luc JGY, Ouzounian M, Bender EM, Blitz A, Stamp NL, Varghese TK Jr, Cooke DT, Antonoff MB. The Thoracic Surgery Social Media Network: Early Experience and Lessons Learned. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2019 Aug 10. pii: S0022-5223(19)31520-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.06.099. [Epub ahead of print]

Luc JGY, Ouzounian M, Bender EM, Blitz A, Stamp NL, Varghese TK Jr, Cooke DT, Antonoff MB. The Thoracic Surgery Social Media Network: Early Experience and Lessons Learned. Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 Aug 9. pii: S0003-4975(19)30909-9. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.06.011. [Epub ahead of print]

Clark JM, Cooke DT, Hashimi H, Chin D, Utter GH, Brown LM, Nuno M. Do the 2018 Leapfrog Group Minimal Hospital and Surgeon Volume Thresholds for Esophagectomy Favor Specific Patient Demographics? Ann Surg. 2019 Aug 13. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003553. [Epub ahead of print].

Luc JG, Archer MA, Arora RC, Bender EM, Blitz A, Cooke DT, Hlci TN, Kidane B, Ouzounian M, Varghese TK, Antonoff MB. Social Media Improves Cardiothoracic Surgery Literature Dissemination: Results Of A Randomized Trial. Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 Aug 9. pii: S0003-4975(19)31162-2. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.06.062. [Epub ahead of print].

Recent Videos


Jim Conwell, lung cancer survivor


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


Lung Cancer Screening for High-Risk Individuals


What is VATS? Surgeon David Cooke gives an overview






Virtual Tumor Board Project




How the Opioid Crisis Is Affecting Cardiothoracic Surgery


Breaking the Demographic and Cultural Barriers to Patient Enrollment in Clinical Trials


Disparities in Access to Lung Cancer Screening


Robotic Surgery at UC Davis Health