Dr. Peter Cotton is Professor of Medicine at the Digestive Disease Center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston. He founded the multi-disciplinary Center in 1994 which has been repeatedly recognized since then as one of the top programs for Digestive Disorders in the country. It is dedicated to “patient-friendly care and the research and education needed to improve it.”
Dr. Cotton has been a pioneer in digestive endoscopy since the early days of flexible instruments and has organized state-of-the-art endoscopy units, initially at Middlesex University Hospital in England, and then at Duke University in North Carolina before moving to MUSC.
His particular clinical focus has been on pancreatic and biliary diseases and the use of ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde CholangioPancreatography) – which he named in 1972. He is currently the principal investigator of a large NIH-funded randomized controlled trial of sphincterotomy in patients with sphincter of Oddi dysfunction.
Dr. Cotton has more than 900 publications, including 300 peer-reviewed original articles and ten books. “Practical Gastrointestinal Endoscopy”, co-authored with Dr Christopher Williams, is the standard teaching text worldwide. It is now in its sixth edition and has been translated in eight languages. Dr Cotton has trained post-graduates from 25 countries and has given lectures and demonstrations in more than 50. He has participated actively in national and international organizations and has received many honors, including the Rudolph Schindler Award for Excellence from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
In recent years, Dr. Cotton has been on the forefront of the quality assurance agenda in endoscopy and recently co-chaired a workshop on Credentialing and Quality Assurance for the World Organization for Endoscopy (OMED). He is frequently consulted as an expert witness in medico-legal cases involving endoscopy and has emphasized the importance of documenting performance with report cards and benchmarking tools.