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




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


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.


Thoracic 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,

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

Thoracic Surgery Outcomes Research Network

Honors and Awards

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

Select Recent Publications

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

Luc JG, Archer MA, Arora RC, Bender EM, Blitz A, Cooke DT, Elde S, Guy TS, Halpern AL, Harrington C, Ni Hlci T, Kidane B, Olive JK, Ouzounian M, Stamp N, Vervoort D, Varghese TK, Antonoff MB. The Thoracic Surgery Social Media Network Experience During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Oct;110(4):1103–1107. Published online 2020 May 18. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.05.006.

Clark JM, Cooke DT, Brown LM. Management of Complications After Lung Resection: Prolonged Air Leak and Bronchopleural Fistula. Thorac Surg Clin. 2020 Aug;30(3):347-358. doi:10.1016/j.thorsurg.2020.04.008.

Thoracic Surgery Outcomes Research Network, Inc, Antonoff M, Backhus L, Boffa DJ, Broderick SR, Brown LM, Carrott P, Clark JM, Cooke DT, David E, Facktor M, Farjah F, Grogan E, Isbell J, Jones DR, Kidane B, Kim AW, Keshavjee S, Krantz S, Lui N, Martin L, Meguid RA, Meyerson SL, Mullett T, Nelson H, Odell DD, Phillips JD, Puri V, Rusch V, Shulman L, Varghese TK, Wakeam E, Wood DE. COVID-19 Guidance for Triage of Operations for Thoracic Malignancies: A Consensus Statement from Thoracic Surgery Outcomes Research Network, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons and The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020 Aug;160(2):601-605. doi:10.1016/j.jtcvs.2020.03.061. Epub 2020 Apr 9.

Yanagawa B, Iannacone EM, Kaneko T, Rubens F, Cooke DT. Cardiothoracic Surgical Residency Programs: A Pandemic Playbook. Innovations (Phila). 2020 Jul/Aug;15(4):300-305. doi:10.1177/1556984520937656. Online ahead of print.

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.

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.

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.

Luc JG, Archer MA, Arora RC, Bender EM, Blitz A, Cooke DT, Ni Hlci T, Kidane B, Ouzounian M, Varghese TK, Antonoff MB. Does Tweeting Improve Citations? One-Year Results from the TSSMN Prospective Randomized Trial. Ann Thorac Surg. 2020 Jun 3:S0003-4975(20)30860-2. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.04.065. Online ahead of print.

Tong EK, Wolf T, Cooke DT, Fairman N, Chen MS Jr. The Emergence of a Sustainable Tobacco Treatment Program across the Cancer Care Continuum: A Systems Approach for Implementation at the University of California Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May;17(9):3241. Published online 2020 May 6. doi:10.3390/ijerph17093241.

Clark JM, Cooke DT, Chin DL, Utter GH, Brown LM, Nuño M. Does one size fit all? An evaluation of the 2018 Leapfrog Group minimal hospital and surgeon volume thresholds for lung surgery. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020 May;159(5):2071-2079.e2.  doi:10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.09.082. Epub 2019 Oct 1.

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


Appropriate Use of Robotics in Cardiothoracic Surgery