David Cole, M.D. - Physician Profile
Dr. David Cole - Physician Profile
Dr. David Cole – Department of Surgery
Dr. David Cole: I’m a surgical oncologist. I guess the simplest definition of that would be the surgical aspects of general surgery. I’ve spent, probably, half my life taking care of breast cancer. The other majority, surgically, is complex GI care; cancer care: pancreatic, colon, liver, and biliary cancer. And, by definition, where we live in South Carolina: melanoma, sarcoma. So, it’s a broad experience I’ve had, actually, through the years.
I would emphasize what a wonderful resource the Hollings Cancer represents, which I don’t honestly believe the average patient understands. We have a comprehensive capability of managing the patient care that comes under the Hollings Cancer Center, and I just don’t believe that the average citizen on the street understands the resources that they have. It’s a multidisciplinary unit with multidisciplinary patient care, and it’s the cornerstone of what we do. So, you’re not just seeing a practioner with high-level excellence and accomplishment, in terms of patient care, you’re seeing a whole team that covers the full spectrum. And I think if people fully understood that, the question would be: Why shouldn’t I be at the Hollings Cancer Center rather than anywhere else?
I was actually born and raised in New Mexico. I went to Cornell Medical College, in Manhattan, which is part of New York Hospital. Upon graduation, I went to Emory for general surgical residency training, which is a huge clinical experience – a great hospital. I then did fellowship in surgical oncology at the National Cancer Institute for about three and a half years. It was at that point that I was recruited to MUSC. Back in 1994, they needed several things. They were trying to establish a cancer center that needed somebody with surgical oncology capabilities, as well as somebody who had the ability to develop research related to cancer care. This seemed to me a wonderful opportunity. So, very quickly, for me, the question became: Why shouldn’t I be in Charleston?