Brian J. Cole

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Brian J. Cole (born 1962) is an American orthopedic surgeon, professor and associate chairman of the department of orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and the chairman of surgery at Oak Park Hospital in Oak Park, Illinois. He is the managing partner of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, a top-ranked orthopaedic department in the United States.[1][2][3][4] He is a sports medicine clinician-scientist specializing in shoulder, elbow, and knee injuries and has an interest in arthroscopy, cartilage restoration, and the use of Biologic therapy. He is well known for his work with professional and university sports teams, working as the head team physician for the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Dogs, Joffrey Ballet Chicago, and DePaul University and co-team physician for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Fire. He frequently treats professional athletes and is asked for second opinions by his colleagues to help with the care of high-profile athletes from virtually every sport both nationally and internationally.


Brian Cole graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1985 where he received Bachelor of Science Degrees in Biology and Psychology. He earned his Doctor of Medicine and Master’s in Business Administration in 1991 at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and Booth School of Business, respectively. After completing his medical and business degrees, he completed a general surgical internship at Loyola University Chicago in Chicago, Illinois in 1991 and an orthopedic research fellowship in metabolic bone disease at The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York (state) in 1992. He then completed an orthopedic residency at The Hospital for Special Surgery in 1996 and a Sports Medicine Fellowship in 1997 at The University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. [1][3][4]

Medical Career

Cole is the director of Rush Cartilage Restoration Center from 1997 until present. At Rush University, he is a medical researcher and surgeon, Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics, Anatomy and Cell Biology, and head of the Orthopedic Master’s Training Program where he mentors Residency (medicine) and Fellowship (medicine).[2][5][6]

Cole’s specialties include sports medicine, cartilage transplantation, arthroscopy, and shoulder, elbow and knee surgery.[6] He is known for performing various surgeries including arthroscopic rotator cuff repairs, shoulder stabilization, Shoulder replacement, Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, Meniscus transplant, cartilage cell transplantations, and fresh osteochondral allograft transplantations.[6] He is recognized as having established the world’s first cartilage transplantation program.

He is among the world’s most published and cited orthopedic sports medicine researchers with an h-index of 75 and publishing more than 1,000 articles and 12 textbooks on basic science and clinical research of orthopedic surgery and sports medicine.[2][6][7][8] His research interests are specifically in cartilage transplantation, regenerative medicine, biologic alternatives, rotator cuff healing, and Dislocated shoulder.[6][8]

Sports Medicine

Dr. Cole is the head team physician for the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Dogs, Joffrey Ballet and DePaul University and co-team physician for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Fire Football Club.[2][3]

Sports Medicine Weekly Podcast

Sports Medicine Weekly began in 2010 as a radio talk show on ESPN Radio featuring Brian Cole and host Steve Kashul from NBC Sports Chicago. In 2018, the show was subsequently broadcasted on WSCR until becoming fully digital as a widely recognized podcast in 2020. The digital podcast is now hosted by Cole and shares informative content through interviewing professionals including surgeons, therapists, coaches, trainers, and athletes. Proceeds from the podcast are donated to Rush University Medical Center for the advancement of orthopedic and cell biology research.[7]

Professional Membership and Awards

Cole is a current member of the American Medical Association, Arthroscopy Association of North America, Chicago Sports Council, Chicago Sports Medicine Society, Illinois Orthopaedic Society, International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, NBA Team Physician’s Society, and New York State Medical Society. He also served as the president of the Arthroscopy Association of North America in 2020.[9], will be the president of the NBA Team Physician Society in 2023, and holds other organizational leadership positions. He has been listed in “Best Doctors in America,” “Top Doctor” in the Chicago Metro area by Castle Connolly, and “The Top 19 U.S Sports Medicine Specialists” in Orthopedics This Week.[2][8] In 2009, Cole was awarded NBA Team Physician of the Year.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Dr. Brian J. Cole MD". U.S. News & World Report. News & World Report, L.P. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Hofheinz, Elizabeth. (5 February 2013)."The Top 19 U.S. Sports Medicine Specialists" (PDF). Orthopedics This Week. 9(4).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Stewart, Angie. (6 March 2018)."Orthopedic Surgeon to Know: Dr. Brian Cole of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush". Becker's Spine Review. Becker's Healthcare. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Rush Doctors: Brian J. Cole, MD, MBA". Rush University Medical Center. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  5. "Rush University Faculty: Brian J. Cole, MD, MBA". Rush University. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush: Brian J. Cole, MD, MBA". Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, LLC. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Robertson, Marcus. (16 September 2021)."Sports Medicine Weekly, featuring top Chicago physician, moves to fully digital format". Becker's Spine Review. Becker's Healthcare. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Dr. Brian Cole MD". Healthgrades. Healthgrades Marketplace, LLC. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  9. Cole, Brian J. (2021)."Building Our Home: Lessons Learned Along the Way". The American Journal of Sports Medicine. 37 (10): 3004-3009. doi:"10.1016/j.arthro.2021.08.006".. PMID:"34602142".
  10. "Cole Named 2009 NBA Team Physician of the Year". (1 June 2009). NBA. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved October 6, 2022.

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