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David Tom Cooke named an ACS Master Surgeon Educator

David Tom Cooke, M.D.

(SACRAMENTO) — David Tom Cooke, head of general thoracic surgery at UC Davis Health, is one of 50 surgical educators inducted into the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators.


David Tom Cooke, M.D.

Cooke is part of the third cohort of ACS members inducted as associates of the academy, which recognizes surgical educators committed to promoting excellence in the next generation of surgeons. They were inducted during a virtual ceremony that took place Sept. 25.

“This academy of preeminent surgeon educators has been making landmark contributions to surgical education and is introducing many transformational changes in surgical education and training that will endure into the future,” said Ajit K. Sachdeva, director of the ACS Division of Education.

Cooke is an associate professor of surgery and a former director of the cardiothoracic surgery residency program at UC Davis Health. He specializes in surgical treatment of complex conditions of the lung, esophagus and diaphragm. He also is well-known for advancing minimally invasive approaches to chest surgery, including robotics, video-assisted thoracic surgery and interventional bronchoscopy. In his research, he aims to improve patient care and outcomes for lung and esophageal cancer.

“It is no surprise that Dr. Cooke has been asked to join this unique class of academy members, who represent the very best educators in our field,” said Diana Farmer, chair of the UC Davis Department of Surgery. “We are thrilled that the academy has recognized his dedication to mentoring surgeons who will provide world-class care for surgical patients for years to come.”

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons who raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for surgical patients. For more information, visit

The general thoracic surgery team at UC Davis Health provides comprehensive care for the surgical treatment of non-cardiac benign and malignant diseases of the chest, including the lungs, esophagus, chest wall, airway, mediastinum and diaphragm. For information, visit