George Cheely, MD

Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine
Core Faculty Member, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy
Campus mail DUMC 100800, Duke Hospital Medicine Program, Durham, NC 27710
Phone (919) 613-7757
Email address

Dr. George R. Cheely, Jr. MD, MBA is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and hospitalist physician at Duke University Hospital and Medical and Program Director for Care Redesign at Duke University Health System.  Reporting to the CMO of DUHS, he oversees medical and nursing leaders who convene multi-disciplinary clinical teams across the organization to develop and implement evidence-based approaches to care delivery.  Aims include improving patients’ experience, enhancing quality and safety, eliminating waste from care processes, and hardwiring changes into the electronic health record.  Duke Care Redesign teams span more than 30 medical and surgical acute and chronic clinical episodes, and improve quality and efficiency of care for more than 30,000 patients annually.  George has been invited to speak about Care Redesign at such forums as the International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare and the Brookings Institute.

George has also held leadership roles in alternative payment models and physician pay-for-performance at Duke.  As the site director for the CMMI Bundled Payments for Care Improvement pilot program, he oversaw all aspects of participation and successfully advocated to the CMO of CMS to more clearly define patient populations through expanded exclusions and creation of new DRGs.  He has been a member of the Medicare Shared Savings Program geriatrics advisory group, BCBS Bundled Payment internal steering group, and CMS Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement internal oversight committee.  He has overseen development of a physician gainsharing agreement between DUHS and physician practice leaders as well as implementation of an annual physician pay-for-performance program for the 975 Duke housestaff.

George completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Duke University Hospital.  As a senior resident, he was named Assistant Chief Resident for Duke Regional Hospital and Ambulatory Care.  After residency, George served as the inaugural Duke Quality Scholar with roles in DUHS Care Redesign and as DUH Chief Resident for Quality Improvement.   

George earned his MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his MBA in Healthcare Management from The Wharton School.  Prior to matriculating at Penn, George completed a Fulbright Fellowship studying ecosystem disruption in New Zealand.  George graduated Magna Cum Laude with degrees in Biology and English from Amherst College where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and 1 of 300 national Barry M. Goldwater scholars.  

Education and Training

  • M.D., University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, 2009
  • M.B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2009


Turner, David A., Jonathan Bae, George Cheely, Judy Milne, Thomas A. Owens, and Catherine M. Kuhn. “Improving Resident and Fellow Engagement in Patient Safety Through a Graduate Medical Education Incentive Program.” J Grad Med Educ 10, no. 6 (December 2018): 671–75.

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Fenster, Charles B., George Cheely, Michele R. Dudash, and Richard J. Reynolds. “Nectar reward and advertisement in hummingbird-pollinated Silene virginica (Caryophyllaceae).” Am J Bot 93, no. 12 (December 2006): 1800–1807.

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