Faculty Profiles

John Sweeney, MD

John F. Sweeney, MD

Joseph Brown Whitehead Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Director, Surgical Services, Emory Healthcare

Surgeon-in-Chief, Emory Healthcare

Telephone: 404.727.5800

Email: jfsween@emory.edu

Certification: American Board of Surgery

Year Joined Emory as a Faculty Member: 2007


Before joining Emory as chief of the division of general and gastrointestinal surgery in September 2007, Dr. Sweeney directed the Division of General and GI Surgery, the bariatric surgery program, and the Michael E. DeBakey Minimally Invasive Surgery Center of Excellence of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine. Prior to that, he served as chief of surgery at the Ann Arbor VA Medical Center and director of minimally invasive surgery at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Sweeney served as chief quality officer for the Emory Department of Surgery from 2008-2016, and helmed its participation in the University Healthcare Consortium Quality and Accountability Program (UHC QAP), American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS/NSQIP), Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP), and Best Practices for Better Care (BPBC).

Dr. Sweeney's quality research includes work he is conducting with James C. Cox, PhD, director of the Experimental Economics Center (ExCEN) of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. For "Uptake of Comparative Effectiveness Research: Implications for Discharge Decision," funded by the National Institute on Aging of the NIH, Dr. Sweeney and Dr. Cox are focusing on hospital length of stay and discharge decisions as central factors in the complex interplay between quality of health care delivery and medical costs. They are also experimenting with alternative choices and new applications of information technology designed to increase physicians' effectiveness in identifying when to discharge a patient.

When former chair Dr. Chris Larsen was named dean of the Emory University School of Medicine in January 2013, Dr. Sweeney began serving as interim chair of the Department of Surgery. He was appointed Joseph B. Whitehead Chair of the Department in 2015.


View Dr. Sweeney's publications in PubMed.


  • Inpatient: Emory University Hospital

  • Outpatient: The Emory Clinic


  • MD, Rush Medical College, Chicago, IL, Class of 1988

  • General Surgery Internship and Residency, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, 1988-1995

  • Surgery Immunology Research Fellowship, University of South Florida, 1991-1993

Honors and Awards

  • Senior Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Michigan Medical School, 1999

  • William W. Coon Teaching Award, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School, 2000

  • James IV Association of Surgeons Traveling Scholarship; 156th Surgical Traveler to England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and Hong Kong; 2002-2003

  • Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching and Evaluation, Baylor College of Medicine, 2005

  • Atlanta's Top Doctors, Atlanta Magazine, 2009-2019

Organizational Memberships

  • American College of Surgeons, Fellow

  • American Surgical Association

  • Notre Dame National Monogram Club

  • Association for Academic Surgery

  • Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract

  • Frederick A. Coller Surgical Society

  • Association of VA Surgeons

  • Society of University Surgeons

  • Central Surgical Association

  • Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons

  • Harris County Medical Society

  • Texas Medical Association

  • Michael E. DeBakey International Surgical Society

  • Houston Surgical Society

  • American Society for Bariatric Surgery

  • Southern Surgical Association

Clinical Interests

  • Laparoscopic colon resection

  • Reflux disease

  • Hernia repair

  • Hiatal hernia repair

  • Minimally invasive surgery

  • Surgical management of splenic diseases (including laparoscopic removal of the spleen)

Research Interests

  • Clinical outcomes of minimally invasive surgical procedures and the role of medical student and resident education in these areas

  • Health services research