William Yancy, MD

William Yancy, MD

Program Director, Duke Diet & Fitness Center

Dr. Yancy received his undergraduate degree from Duke University in 1991 and his medical degree from East Carolina University in 1995.  He was a resident and Chief Resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh from 1995-1999.  He completed a fellowship in General Medicine at Duke University, earning a Masters in Health Sciences Degree in 2001.  

He is a Research Scientist in the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Staff Physician in Ambulatory Care, and Co-director of the MOVE! Weight Management program at the Durham VA Medical Center. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, an instructor in the Duke Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP), and a physician in the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic. He is a Fellow of The Obesity Society and member of the Society for General Internal Medicine. He has performed multiple clinical trials investigating the safety, effectiveness, tolerability, and feasibility of diets and medications for weight loss.

Through this research he has developed particular expertise with the low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet as well as the low-glycemic load diet, and the low-fat, reduced-calorie diet. His research has also used large research and administrative datasets to examine the relationship of obesity with health outcomes and with utilization of health care services. Dr. Yancy has also performed a number of studies examining innovative approaches toward improving adherence to lifestyle recommendations and prescription medications. These include the use of lifestyle coaches, trained interventionists complimented with community health advisors, nurses, and spouses to enhance participants’ knowledge, motivation, and adherence.

The interventions Dr. Yancy has studied have been delivered face-to-face in small groups and by telephone to increase convenience, efficiency, and reach. Dr. Yancy has most recently worked on projects aimed at improving the long-term adherence to lifestyle modifications, in particular strategies related to weight management. He has received several awards for his research including two Research Career Development awards from the VA, The Obesity Society’s Ethan Sims Young Investigator Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and the Nutrition & Metabolism Society Award for Excellence in Nutrition & Metabolism. He also received the Duke University School of Medicine Excellence in Professionalism Award.