Amy Pickar Abernethy, MD

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine
Professor in the School of Nursing
Member in the Duke Clinical Research Institute
Campus mail Duke Box 3436, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 668-0647
Email address

Amy P. Abernethy, MD PhD
Director, Center for Learning Health Care
Director, Duke Cancer Care Research Program
Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, Duke University School of Medicine
Associate Professor of Nursing, Duke University School of Nursing

Dr. Abernethy, a hematologist/oncologist and palliative care physician, is Professor of Medicine in the Duke University School of Medicine, Director of the Duke Center for Learning Health Care (CLHC) in the Duke Clinical Research Institute, and Director of the Duke Cancer Care Research Program (DCCRP) in the Duke Cancer Institute. With over 375 publications, she is an internationally recognized expert in health services research, comparative effectiveness research, patient reported outcomes (PROs), clinical informatics and patient-centered care.

Dr. Abernethy is an appointee to the Institute of Medicine’s National Cancer Policy Forum, Immediate Past President of the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Personalized Medicine Coalition, Co-Chair of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group, Co-Chair of the PRO Core for the NIH Collaboratory Program, and Chair of the PRO Task Force for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute National Clinical Research Network.  She Co-Leads the Learning Health System Training Program at Duke.  She serves on the Board of Directors for athenahealth.  Dr. Abernethy participates integrally in current high-level national and international discussions about reforming the evidence development system, presenting a model for a rapid learning health care that coordinates clinical and research functions to better serve patients’ needs in an evidence-driven, cost-effective, and patient-centered manner.

Clinically, Dr. Abernethy was previously responsible for the care of patients with melanoma, in conjunction with the surgeons and radiation oncologists of the Duke Melanoma Clinic. She is Principal Investigator on major international studies for metastatic melanoma, and has published in areas pertinent to the epidemiology of melanoma, longitudinal care patterns, and improving the melanoma patient experience. Dr. Abernethy also previously attended on Duke's palliative care service, with special focus on improving the quality of life for people affected by advanced cancer including their families. Dr. Abernethy completed medical training, residency, and a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Duke University.

Education and Training

  • Fellow in Hematology-Oncology, Medicine, Duke University, 1999 - 2001
  • Chief Medical Resident, Medicine, Duke University, 1998 - 1999
  • Fellow in Hematology-Oncology, Medicine, Duke University, 1997 - 1998
  • Medical Resident, Medicine, Duke University, 1994 - 1997
  • M.D., Duke University, 1994


Khozin, S, Abernethy, AP, Nussbaum, NC, Zhi, J, Curtis, MD, Tucker, M, Lee, SE, Light, DE, Gossai, A, Sorg, RA, Torres, AZ, Patel, P, Blumenthal, GM, and Pazdur, R. "Characteristics of Real-World Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients Treated with Nivolumab and Pembrolizumab During the Year Following Approval." Oncologist 23, no. 3 (March 1, 2018): 328-336.

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Troy, JD, de Castro, CM, Pupa, MR, Samsa, GP, Abernethy, AP, and LeBlanc, TW. "Patient-Reported Distress in Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Its Association With Clinical Outcomes: A Retrospective Cohort Study." Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network : JNCCN 16, no. 3 (March 2018): 267-273.

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Miksad, RA, and Abernethy, AP. "Harnessing the Power of Real-World Evidence (RWE): A Checklist to Ensure Regulatory-Grade Data Quality." Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 103, no. 2 (February 1, 2018): 202-205.

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Butler, AM, Cetin, K, Hernandez, RK, Diane Reams, B, Overman, RA, I. Kim, J, Hirsch, BR, Abernethy, AP, Liede, A, and Alan Brookhart, M. "Treatment dynamics of bone-targeting agents among men with bone metastases from prostate cancer in the United States." Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 27, no. 2 (February 2018): 229-238.

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Liede, A, Wade, S, Lethen, J, Hernandez, RK, Warner, D, Abernethy, AP, and Finelli, A. "An Observational Study of Concomitant Use of Emerging Therapies and Denosumab or Zoledronic Acid in Prostate Cancer." Clinical Therapeutics (February 2018).

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Burns, E, Prigerson, HG, Quinn, SJ, Abernethy, AP, and Currow, DC. "Moving on: Factors associated with caregivers' bereavement adjustment using a random population-based face-to-face survey." Palliative medicine 32, no. 1 (January 2018): 257-267.

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LeBlanc, TW, and Abernethy, AP. "Patient-reported outcomes in cancer care - hearing the patient voice at greater volume." Nature reviews. Clinical oncology 14, no. 12 (December 2017): 763-772. (Review)

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Shaw, BE, Brazauskas, R, Millard, HR, Fonstad, R, Flynn, KE, Abernethy, A, Vogel, J, Petroske, C, Mattila, D, Drexler, R, Lee, SJ, Horowitz, MM, and Rizzo, JD. "Centralized patient-reported outcome data collection in transplantation is feasible and clinically meaningful." Cancer 123, no. 23 (December 2017): 4687-4700.

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Bull, J, Kamal, AH, Harker, M, Taylor, DH, Bonsignore, L, Morris, J, Massie, L, Singh Bhullar, P, Howell, M, Hendrix, M, Bennett, D, and Abernethy, A. "Standardization and Scaling of a Community-Based Palliative Care Model." Journal of palliative medicine 20, no. 11 (November 2017): 1237-1243.

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Tjia, J, Kutner, JS, Ritchie, CS, Blatchford, PJ, Bennett Kendrick, RE, Prince-Paul, M, Somers, TJ, McPherson, ML, Sloan, JA, Abernethy, AP, and Furuno, JP. "Perceptions of Statin Discontinuation among Patients with Life-Limiting Illness." Journal of palliative medicine 20, no. 10 (October 2017): 1098-1103.

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