Meet the provider: David Gorski, M.D.

September 29, 2021

David Gorski, M.D., Department of Surgery, joined Wayne Health in March 2008. His special interests in surgery are breast surgery and breast cancer surgery.

Dr. Gorski chose Wayne Health because, at the time, he was looking to move on from his job at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey to be closer to his family in Southeast Michigan, and his wife’s family in the Toledo area. Little did he expect that an opportunity to do research in breast cancer and have a clinical surgery practice in Detroit would present itself at Wayne Health and Karmanos, and that both would actually hire him.

Dr. Gorski went to the University of Michigan for his undergrad and went on to later graduate from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed a general surgery residency at the University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He completed a PhD in Cellular Physiology in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Case Western Reserve University between the second and third years of his residency. It took a little over three years (1990-1993, thesis defense in November 1993, PhD conferred in January 1994). The title of his thesis was Homeobox gene expression and regulation in vascular myocytes. In terms of fellowships, he completed a surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Chicago, where he developed an interest in tumor angiogenesis as a target for anticancer therapy.

Dr. Gorski wasn’t going to pick surgery initially. His original plan at U of M was to become an academic internist, possibly a cardiologist or oncologist. However, when he came to do those rotations as a third-year medical student, to his surprise he loved surgery and didn’t love internal medicine as much. He believes what intrigued him the most is surgery’s ability to be hands-on and really get at the root cause of a disease, more specifically in his case, cancer.

Two things make Dr. Gorski’s patient care approach unique. First, he follows a science-based approach to practicing surgery and doesn’t do anything that he can’t support with strong scientific evidence, with rare exceptions where there isn’t a lot of evidence. Second, he believes practicing science-based medicine does not mean cookie-cutter medicine, as patient values, needs, and desires can be considered most of the time to deliver personalized care that is supported by science. When preparing his patients for surgery, he approaches his words with empathy. After his surgery, he now has a better understanding of what his patients go through. He uses that to let them know that he’s been in their place. He’s also dealt with cancer in his close family, so he understands his cancer patients better too. Dr. Gorski’s patients have made him reevaluate his privilege. Many of his patients have so many problems in their lives compared to him and are on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale. Yet they deal with it, often with more grace than he deals with his problems.

So far in his career, Dr. Gorski is most proud of having some part of contributing knowledge to the world of science. He has won the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Advanced Clinical Research Award in Breast Cancer (to study the use of a glutamate signaling inhibitors to treat triple negative breast cancer), the Fromm Research Award from the Wayne State University Department of Surgery, and he was a finalist for both the National Institute for Health Care Management Digital Media Award and the Ockham Award for Best Blog (as Managing Editor of, from Skeptic Magazine.

In his free time, Dr. Gorski enjoys Bicycling, reading and hanging out with his family. He’s also pretty active on social media (Twitter, mainly) and edits a group blog called Science-Based Medicine (

To set up an appointment with Dr. Gorski, visit our appointment page or call (877) 929-6342.

Meet the provider: David Gorski, M.D.
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