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Duke Surgery Appoints New Chief of Urology

Friday, June 4, 2021
Dr. Michael Cookson

The Duke University School of Medicine, Department of Surgery is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael S. Cookson, MD, MMHC, FACS, as the new Chief of the Division of Urology.

Dr. Cookson comes to Duke from the University of Oklahoma, where he is currently the Donald D. Albers Professor with tenure and has served as Chair of the Department of Urology in the OU’s College of Medicine since 2013.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Cookson joining our faculty in this critical leadership position,” says Dr. Allan D. Kirk, MD, PhD, David C. Sabiston, Jr. Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery. “He is, by all measures, a leader in American surgery, and in particular, in urologic surgery. He is one of those rare individuals who has excelled in both the clinical and academic missions, while cultivating an exceptionally effective leadership style. His arrival underscores Duke’s commitment to growing an already impressive presence in Urology, and serving patients in need of urological care.”

Dr. Cookson graduated in 1984 from the University of Oklahoma, where he also earned his medical degree in 1988. He completed a general surgery internship at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1989, followed by a residency in urology completed in 1993. Dr. Cookson finished his fellowship in urologic oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York in 1996. His clinical and research focus has been in the area of prostate and urologic cancer.

Dr. Cookson currently serves as President of the Society of Urologic Oncology and President of the South-Central Section of the American Urological Association. He is a member of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons and is on the Urology Advisory Board of the American College of Surgeons. He has recently been appointed as co-editor-in-chief of Urology Times and is an editor for the AUA Update Series. Dr. Cookson has been recognized internationally for his contributions to the field of urologic oncology and has lectured extensively.

An accomplished researcher, teacher, and lecturer, he has authored or co-authored over 250 peer-reviewed journal publications and more than 30 chapters of various textbooks in urologic oncology and urologic surgery. Dr. Cookson is also the co-founder of the Oncology Knowledge Assessment Test (OKAT), an examination required by the Society of Urologic Oncology (SUO) as the standard for benchmarking oncology fellows and members of the SUO.

As Chief of the Division of Urology within Duke Surgery, Dr. Cookson will continue the tradition of excellence previously stewarded by his predecessor, Glenn Preminger, MD, the James F. Glenn, MD, Professor of Urology. Dr. Preminger has served as division Chief since 2011. Under his leadership the past decade, Duke Urology has consistently ranked as one of the top urology programs in the country.

Dr. Preminger’s surgical skill in minimally invasive management of urology diseases has made him an international leader in this specialty. When he joined Duke as a Professor of Urology in 1993, he also served as Director of the Comprehensive Kidney Stone Center and Director of the Urology Residency program. In 2018, Dr. Preminger was honored with the Karl Storz Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endourological Society, in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of endourology. “We are truly moving from strength to strength,” says Dr. Kirk.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to be named as the next Chief of Urology at Duke,” says Dr. Cookson. “To be joining such an esteemed Urologic faculty, and to be part of such an outstanding Department of Surgery, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I believe Dr. Kirk and the leadership of Duke School of Medicine and Duke Health have laid the foundation for transformational growth in Urologic Surgery in the areas of clinical care, research, and education for years to come.”

We look forward to Dr. Cookson’s leadership in Duke Surgery in August 2021, and express sincere gratitude to Dr. Preminger for his decade of leadership in the Division of Urology.