Peter Cole



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 orthopedic 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 orthopedic 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 orthopedic 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 orthopedic department which has become one of the most influential orthopedic 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.


  • Orthopedics
  • Trauma 

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Doctors in America®: 2009-2011, 2013, 2017
  • Mpls St. Paul Magazine "Top Doctors List:" 2008, 2010, 2012-2017, 2023
  • Minnesota Monthly "Best Doctors for Women List:" 2013
  • AAOS Achievement Award: 2012
  • Innovation of Care Award, Geriatric Orthopaedic Trauma Program: 2008

Professional Associations

  • American Shoulder and Elbow Society
  • Chest Wall Injury Society: Education Committee
  • Consortium of Orthopaedic Academic Traumatologists (COACT) Leadership Committee
  • International Geriatric Fracture Society
  • Orthopaedic Trauma Association Membership Committee
  • AO International Alumni Association
  • AO North America
  • AO Technical Commission (AOTK): MIO Expert Group
  • AO Trauma
  • Midwest Regional AO North America Alumni Organization, Chairman
  • Mid America Orthopaedic Association
  • American Orthopaedic Association
  • American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Minnesota Orthopaedic Society
  • Orthopaedic Trauma Association
  • Christian Medical and Dental Society


Experts@Minnesota profile

Trauma Fellowship page

Research Summary

Research 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 Orthopedic Trauma
  • Calcaneal Fracture Management
  • Midfoot Fractures of the Chopart and Lis Franc joints

Clinical Summary

Board Certifications

Orthopaedics, Advanced Trauma Life Support

Clinical Specialties

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

Clinical Interests

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




Administrative Contact

Kendra Williams
Fax: 612-273-7959

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