Division of gastroenterology and hepatology

Peter B. Cotton, M.D.

Dr. Cotton is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, where he founded the Digestive Disease Center in 1994.

He was born in 1939 in England, where his father was a rural family physician.  He graduated in 1963 from Cambridge University and St. Thomas Hospital Medical School (London).  He developed the Endoscopy Laboratory at St. Thomas’ Hospital while still officially in training, and brought ERCP back from Japan in 1971.  In 1973 he was appointed to the faculty of the Middlesex Hospital and Medical School (London) as Director of Gastroenterology, where he developed a new department integrating medical and surgical gastroenterology, with an emphasis on endoscopic therapy and teaching.  His group pioneered many diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy procedures, particularly ERCP (sphincterotomy and stenting) and was very active in teaching.  He attracted postgraduates from many countries, held numerous teaching courses, and pioneered live CCTV workshops.

Dr. Cotton left England in 1986 to become Professor of Medicine and Chief of Endoscopy at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.  He developed a state of the art endoscopy center.  He maintained his interests in teaching (mainly through live video courses), new techniques, and careful outcome evaluation.  He moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 1994.

The mission of the Digestive Disease Center is to provide multidisciplinary patient-friendly, cost-effective patient care, and to pursue the research and teaching necessary to enhance it.  The diverse and international team develops new techniques, and is dedicated to their scientific evaluation.  This work includes emphasis on consensus definitions of patients, lesions, intervention and outcomes, and their incorporation in electronic databases.

Dr. Cotton has been active in many national and international organizations, and has given invited lectures and demonstrations in more than 50 countries.  He helped form the British Society for Digestive Endoscopy, and served the British Society of Gastroenterology as its vice president and treasurer.  He was secretary of the European Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and president of the Pancreatic Society of Great Britain.  He was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London) in 1978, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow) in 1997, and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (London) in 2002.  He is an honorary member of the British Society of Gastroenterology, the Hong Kong Society for Digestive Endoscopy, and the South African Gastroenterology Society.  Dr Cotton was awarded the Rudolph Schindler award of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy in 2004.

His bibliography includes over 900 medical publications, including more than 300 original contributions in peer reviewed journals, and 10 books.  “Practical Gastrointestinal Endoscopy” (co-authored by Christopher Williams) is the standard endoscopy teaching text, currently in its 6th Edition, and has been translated into 8 languages. He has been on the editorial boards of 12 gastroenterology journals, and was the first international editor of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. He recently published his “endoscopic memoirs” called “The tunnel at the end of the light”, available at www.peterbcotton.com, and a series of children’s books starting with “When Fred the Snake got Squished and Mended”, available at Amazon.com, and www.petercottontales.com.

Peter B. Cotton, MD

Peter B. Cotton, M.D.

Dr. Cotton's Clinical Interests

Multidisciplinary care of patients with digestive problems
Gastrointestinal endoscopy innovation

Selected Publications

View a partial list of Dr. Cotton's publications through the National Library of Medicine's PubMed online database.

Dr. Cotton's Curriculum Vitae (PDF Format)*

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