Peter Cole, MD, FAOA

Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Peter Cole

Contact Info

Office Address:
Regions Hospital
640 Jackson Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

Mailing Address:
Regions Hospital
640 Jackson Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

Administrative Phone

Administrative Fax Number

Additional Locations

Scapula Institute

Scalpel at the Cross Medical Mission

Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Medical School, University of Miami School of Medicine

General Surgery Residency, Brown University, RI

Orthopaedic Surgery Residency, Brown University, RI

Research and Trauma Fellowship, Brown University, RI

Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship, Harborview Medical Center, WA


Though born in Havre de Grace, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay, Dr. Cole originally comes from a small New England town outside of Boston. When he was ten, he moved to Caracas, Venezuela, with his family. There, he spent almost four years developing a love for the Latin culture and gained fluency in Spanish. The family moved to Lighthouse Point, Florida, which has been a family home base for many years and is where he graduated from high school. The other lasting home base and his emotional favorite is Cape Cod, Massachusetts, which is where all the Coles escape annually.

He received his undergraduate degree from Emory University in Atlanta, before taking a two year research fellowship position at Washington University in Saint Louis, the city from which his lovely wife Nancy hails. After this influential period in an elite diabetes and vascular research laboratory, he moved back to south Florida to attend the University of Miami School of Medicine.

He subsequently fulfilled his internship and residency at Brown University in Providence before two sequential fellowships in Orthopaedic Traumatology at Brown University-Rhode Island Hospital and then at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. He took his first academic position at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in Jackson, where he began to develop new techniques for complex orthopaedic pathology, as well as a profound sense of responsibility to indigent care and missions.

He was recruited by the University of Minnesota Department chair in 2002 to build an orthopaedic trauma division for the Regions Hospital Level I Trauma Center in Saint Paul. Within a few years, HealthPartners wanted to help develop, under his leadership and collaboration with the University, a full service line orthopaedic department which has become one of the most influential orthopaedic practices in the Twin Cities.

As a full-time professor at the University of Minnesota, practicing out of Regions Hospital, Dr. Cole has developed a worldwide reputation as an educator and researcher on advanced trauma topics including surgery of complex joint injuries, bone malunions, and pelvic ring injuries. He is a leading expert in minimally invasive fracture care and complex shoulder girdle injury, and has the largest experience on record for the treatment of scapula fractures. Underlying these clinical, administrative, and investigative accomplishments is a passion for creative problem solving and an undying desire for the betterment of medicine for the patient.


  • Orthopaedics
  • Trauma 

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Doctors in America® (2009-2011, 2013, 2017)
  • Mpls St. Paul Magazine "Top Doctors List" (2008, 2010, 2012-2017) 
  • Minnesota Monthly "Best Doctors for Women List" (2013)
  • AAOS Achievement Award (2012)
  • Innovation of Care Award: Geriatric Orthopaedic Trauma Program (2008)

Professional Associations

  • Chaired many courses in the fields of orthopaedic trauma and the internal fixation of fractures
  • Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine for Regions Hospital and Health Partners
  • Director for the University of Minnesota Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship, and Chair of the Regions Trauma Research Lab
  • Dr. Cole and his wife are Co-founders, and he is President of Scalpel At The Cross ministries, an Amazon medical mission in the country of Peru
  • Serves on the Board of Trustees for the AO International Foundation
  • Orthopaedic Trauma Association Membership Committee: 2013 – Present
  • AO International Alumni Association: 2005 – Present
  • Chairman, Midwest Regional AO North America Alumni Organization: 2005 – Present
  • Fellow, American Orthopaedic Association: 2003 – Present
  • American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society: 2003 – Present
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery: 200


  • Spanish


Research Summary/Interests

  • Complex Injuries to the Shoulder Girdle with an emphasis on Scapula Fractures
  • Tibia Pilon Fractures
  • Rib and Chest Wall Fractures and Nonunions
  • Internal Fixation Implants
  • Biomechanics of Pelvic Fracture Fixation
  • Locked Plating
  • Nonunions and Malunions of bone
  • Clinical Outcomes in Orthopaedic Trauma
  • Calcaneal Fracture Management
  • Midfoot Fractures of the Chopart and Lis Franc joints



  • Malunion/nonunions
  • Complex articular and extremity fractures
  • Pelvic and acetabular fractures
  • Extremity fractures
  • Scapula fractures
  • Trauma
  • Underprivileged healthcare

Board Certifications

Orthopaedics, Advanced Trauma Life Support

Clinical Interests

Complex articular and extremity fractures; Extremity fractures; Malunion/nonunions; Pelvic and acetabular fractures; Scapula fractures; Trauma; Underprivileged healthcare