Marty Makary

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Martin Makary
Makary 971.jpg
Dr. Marty Makary

Martin "Marty" Makary is an American surgeon, New York Times bestselling author, and Johns Hopkins health policy expert. He has written for The Wall Street Journal,[1] USA Today, TIME, Newsweek,[2] and CNN,[3] and appears on NBC and Fox News.[4] He is the author of The Price We Pay, a book about how business leaders and families can lower their health care costs and the grass-roots movement to restore medicine to its mission. Dr. Makary practices surgical oncology and gastrointestinal surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and teaches public health policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Makary works in health care innovation, quality measurement science, frail and vulnerable populations, and public health disparities. He served in leadership roles at the United Nations World Health Organization for the Safe Surgery Saves Lives initiative.[5] Makary was named one of the most influential people in healthcare by Health Magazine.[6] In 2018, Makary was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.[7]

Makary is an advocate for disruptive innovation in medicine and physician-led initiatives such as The Surgical Checklist, which he developed at Johns Hopkins, and was later popularized in Atul Gawande's best-selling book Checklist Manifesto.[8] In 2016, Makary and his colleagues exposed loopholes in the Orphan Drug Act accounting for higher drug pricing. His article "The Orphan Drug Act: Restoring the Mission to Rare Diseases",[9] covered by Kaiser Heath News,[10] led Senator Grassley's office to announce an investigation[11] into the problem. Makary has advocated for the need for more transparency in healthcare and better quality metrics for hospitals and physicians.[12] The American College of Surgeons recommended Makary for the position of Surgeon General of the United States.[13]


Makary was born in Liverpool, England and moved to Baltimore as a young child. His family later moved to Danville, Pennsylvania when his father took a job as a hematologist at the Geisinger Medical Center. Makary holds degrees from Bucknell University, Thomas Jefferson University and Harvard University. Makary was president of the student body at Harvard, and later served on the alumni board. He completed a Masters of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree, with a concentration in Health Policy.

Professional career[edit]

Makary completed a surgical residency at Georgetown University[5] in Washington D.C. where he also worked as a writer for The Advisory Board Company. Makary completed sub-specialty surgery training at Johns Hopkins in surgical oncology and gastrointestinal surgery under surgeon John Cameron, before joining Cameron's faculty practice as a partner.[14] In his first few years on the faculty at Johns Hopkins, Makary researched and wrote articles on the prevention of surgical complications.[15] He published extensively on frailty[16] as a medical condition, and on safety and teamwork culture in medicine. Makary is the first author of the original scientific publications describing "The Surgery Checklist" [17] For his original work on the checklist, Makary was asked to serve in roles at the World Health Organization [18] where he worked closely with Dr. Gawande, and others, to develop the official World Health Organization Surgical Checklist.[8] For his contributions to the field of medicine, Makary was named an Endowed Chair at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, becoming the youngest Endowed Chair at the time at the university. Three years later, he was named the Credentials Chair and Director of Quality and Safety for Surgery at Johns Hopkins.[5] In 2020, Makary was named Editor-in-Chief of MedPage Today, a health care news organization with 1 million health care professionals subscribing worldwide.

Makary's research led to several partnerships, including a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, to study obesity treatment,[19] and a grant from the same agency to implement safety programs at 100 U.S. hospitals, a project he collaborated on with Peter Pronovost and the American College of Surgeons. Makary was also the lead author in the original paper introducing a Hospital Survey of Patient Safety Culture.[20]

Makary is the founder of "Improving Wisely", a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded project to reduce health care costs and improve quality by applying physician practice pattern indicators that are developed by the physicians in each sub specialty of medicine. The project aims to address low-value care while embracing reasonable variation in physician practices. The model has specialist physicians endorse[21] measures they believe is valid, and then those physicians set the boundaries of acceptable practice variation so that extreme outlier practice patterns can be identified for improvement. Physician specific data is shared confidentially with the physician. This practice pattern approach has been identified as a novel approach to address opioid overprescribing in narcotic naive patients after standardized procedures where opioid prescribing should be limited.


Makary is the author of Mama Maggie[22] a personal story about his Aunt, a nobel peace prize nominee working in the garbage slums of Cairo. His latest book,[23]The Price we Pay, was launched in 2018 and describes how business leaders can lower their health care costs and the grass-roots movement to restore medicine to its noble mission. Makary is also the author of the New York Times Best Selling book Unaccountable[24][25], in which he proposes that common sense, physician-led solutions can fix the healthcare system. The book was turned into the popular TV series, The Resident,[26] which aired on Fox in 2018. Makary is also the author of the surgery textbooks "General Surgery Review" and "Surgery Review".[citation needed]


Makary is an advocate for high-consensus, common-sense reforms in healthcare. He regularly speaks on organizational culture and a culture of teamwork. He has also called for the public reporting physician-endorsed quality measures by hospitals.[27][28] He and Bryan Sexton have encouraged hundreds of hospitals to take the "Culture of Safety Survey" and make their results available to their communities. Makary also advocates for price transparency and has led efforts to ask hospitals to stop suing their low-income patients.[29]


Makary is a pancreatic surgeon and has pioneered novel surgical procedures. He was awarded the Nobility in Science Award by the National Pancreas Foundation for performing the world's first series of laparoscopic pancreas islet transplant operations.[30] He has traveled with his international team overseas.[31] Makary specializes in advanced laparoscopic surgery and performed the first laparoscopic Whipple surgery at Johns Hopkins and the first laparoscopic Frey procedure for pancreatitis.[32][33]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Makary is the recipient of numerous research and teaching awards, including the Best Teacher Award for Georgetown Medical School[31] and research awards from the Washington Academy of Surgery and the New England Surgical Society. He has been a visiting professor at over 30 U.S. medical schools and lectures frequently on innovation in health care.[34] In 2018, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Makary is of Coptic Egyptian origin.[36]


  1. ^ Makary, Marty (10 July 2014). "A Minimally Invasive Approach to Health-Care Reform". The Wall Street Journal.
  2. ^ "The Daily Beast".
  3. ^ Makary, Martin (28 December 2015). "Why our health care system is broken". CNN. CNN. Retrieved 28 Dec 2015.
  4. ^ Makary, Marty (2015-07-10). "New FDA Warning". FOX News. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Hopkins, Johns. "Martin A. Makary M.D., M.P.H." Johns Hopkins Medicine. Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  6. ^ "20 People Who are Making a Difference In Healthcare". Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Johns Hopkins Faculty Members Elected to National Academy of Medicine". Johns Hopkins Medicine Newsroom. 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  8. ^ a b Gawande, Atul (2009). The Checklist Manifesto. New York, NY: Metropolitan Books. pp. 101. ISBN 978-0-312-43000-9.
  9. ^ Daniel, Michael G.; Pawlik, Timothy M.; Fader, Amanda N.; Esnaola, Nestor F.; Makary, Martin A. (2016). "The Orphan Drug Act: Restoring the Mission to Rare Diseases". American Journal of Clinical Oncology. 39 (2): 210–213. doi:10.1097/COC.0000000000000251. PMID 26580246.
  10. ^ "Drugs For Rare Diseases Have Become Uncommonly Rich Monopolies". Retrieved 2017-07-31.
  11. ^ "Sen. Grassley Launches Inquiry Into Orphan Drug Law's Effect On Prices". Retrieved 2017-07-31.
  12. ^ "advocacy". Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  13. ^ Dornic, Matt. "Could Dr. Marty Makary Be the Next Surgeon General?". Surgeon General Recommendation Letter. American College of Surgeons. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  14. ^ Flynn, Ramsey. n/w10/feature3.cfm "Judgement Day" Check |url= value (help). Hopkins Medicine Magazine. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  15. ^ Coldwell, Dr. "Medical Mistakes More Common Than You Think". Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  16. ^ Makary, Martin A.; Segev, Dorry L.; Pronovost, Peter J.; Syin, Dora; Bandeen-Roche, Karen; Patel, Purvi; Takenaga, Ryan; Devgan, Lara; Holzmueller, Christine G. (June 2010). "Frailty as a predictor of surgical outcomes in older patients". Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 210 (6): 901–908. doi:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2010.01.028. ISSN 1879-1190. PMID 20510798.
  17. ^ Makary, MA; Holzmueller, CG; Thompson, D; Rowen, L; Heitmiller, ES; Maley, WR; Black, JH; Stegner, K; Freischlag, JA; Ulatowski, JA; Pronovost, PJ (2006). "Operating room briefings: working on the same page". Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 32 (6): 351–5. doi:10.1016/S1553-7250(06)32045-4. PMID 16776390.
  18. ^ ExpertFile. "Dr. Marty Makary Physician, Researcher, Author, Medical Commentator - Expert with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine & Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health | ExpertFile". Retrieved 2017-07-06.
  19. ^ Maugh II, Thomas H. (30 June 2011). "Prompt reduction in use of medications for comorbid conditions after bariatric surgery". Obes Surg. 19 (12): 1646–56. doi:10.1007/s11695-009-9960-1. PMID 19763709.
  20. ^ Makary, Martin (2006). "Patient Safety in Surgery". Annals of Surgery. 243 (5): 628–32, discussion 632–5. doi:10.1097/01.sla.0000216410.74062.0f. PMC 1570547. PMID 16632997.
  21. ^ Krishnan, Aravind; Xu, Tim; Hutfless, Susan; Park, Angela; Stasko, Thomas; Vidimos, Allison T.; Leshin, Barry; Coldiron, Brett M.; Bennett, Richard G. (2017-06-01). "Outlier Practice Patterns in Mohs Micrographic Surgery: Defining the Problem and a Proposed Solution". JAMA Dermatology. 153 (6): 565–570. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.1450. ISSN 2168-6084. PMC 5817605. PMID 28453605.
  22. ^ Makary, Marty (2015). Mama Maggie: the untold story of one woman's mission to love the forgotten children of Egypt's garbage slums. Vaughn, Ellen Santilli. Nashville, Tennessee. ISBN 978-0-7180-2203-7. OCLC 883134560.
  23. ^ Makary, Marty (2019). The Price We Pay: what broke American health care--and how to fix it. New York. ISBN 978-1-63557-411-1. OCLC 1057304737.
  24. ^ Makary, Marty (2012). Unaccountable : what hospitals won't tell you and how transparency can revolutionize health care (1st U.S. ed.). New York: Bloomsbury Press. ISBN 978-1-60819-836-8. OCLC 772106631.
  25. ^ Cowles, Gregory. "Print & E-Books". The New York Times.
  26. ^ Chase, Dave (2018-01-17). "The TV Series Hospital CEOs Don't Want You To See". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  27. ^ Reinberg, Steven. "Surgery on Wrong Patients, Surgical Sites Persists, Study Finds". Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  28. ^ Makary, Marty (2007). "Operating Room Briefings and Wrong-Site Surgery" (PDF). Journal of the American College of Surgeons. American College of Surgeons. 204 (2): 236–43. doi:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2006.10.018. PMID 17254927. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  29. ^ "When Hospitals Sue For Unpaid Bills, It Can Be 'Ruinous' For Patients". Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  30. ^ "Martin Makary Receives National Pancreas Foundation's 2015 Nobility in Science Award - 10/28/2015". Retrieved 2017-07-06.
  31. ^ a b Hopkins, John. "Martin Makary Faculty Directory Profile". Johns Hopkins. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  32. ^ Cohn, Meredith. "Pancreatic cancer operation done laparoscopically". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  33. ^ Fan, Caleb J.; Hirose, Kenzo; Walsh, Christi M.; Quartuccio, Michael; Desai, Niraj M.; Singh, Vikesh K.; Kalyani, Rita R.; Warren, Daniel S.; Sun, Zhaoli (2017-06-01). "Laparoscopic Total Pancreatectomy With Islet Autotransplantation and Intraoperative Islet Separation as a Treatment for Patients With Chronic Pancreatitis". JAMA Surgery. 152 (6): 550–556. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.5707. ISSN 2168-6262. PMC 5540049. PMID 28241234.
  34. ^ "Marty Makary Profile". GoGoMag. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  35. ^ "National Academy of Medicine Elects 85 New Members". National Academy of Medicine. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  36. ^ Powers, Kirsten (3 February 2011). "America's Naivete About Egypt". The Daily Beast.

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