Collage of Dr. Cole with wife Kathy, in surgery, at graduation and greeting employes

MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS

In leading South Carolina’s only comprehensive academic health system, MUSC President Dr. David Cole demands excellence from himself and seeks to foster it in those that he leads. He brings integrity, intelligence, optimism, and humor to his role as president, and strives to be a role-model that elevates others and builds effective teams. Guided by MUSC’s common values, Dr. Cole seeks to build on the solid foundation laid by his predecessors to enable MUSC to excel in one of the most transformative times in health care history.

Knowing that it is important to stay grounded when leading, President Cole maintains connectivity with MUSC’s many academic, clinical and leadership teams. He is known for encouraging and enabling MUSC team members to innovate and lead from where they are, and champions the successes and lessons learned from all corners of the institution. He is an active surgeon and continues to provide day-to-day patient care amidst his administrative duties.

President Cole sees tremendous potential for MUSC to become one of the preeminent academic health science systems in the country in the years to come through innovation, impact and influence. Instead of waiting on the tides of transformational change, you can often find President Cole quoting Abraham Lincoln with a favorite saying, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

From Coat to Coat

Cole walking through a garden while checking emails on phone

For several weeks, MUSC writer Bryce Donovan and photographer Sarah Pack shadowed the man entrusted with keeping a $5.4 billion a year train on the rails. From the wood-paneled walls of board meetings to the bright lights of the operating room, they watched as he handled his colleagues, patients and everything in-between. This is a sneak peek inside the life of MUSC President David Cole.

A Second Coat