Marty Makary

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Marty Makary
Martin Adel Makary

Medical career
FieldAbdominal surgery
Sub-specialtiesIslet transplant surgery

Martin Adel Makary is a British-American surgeon, professor, author and medical commentator. He practices surgical oncology and gastrointestinal laparoscopic surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, is Mark Ravitch Chair in Gastrointestinal Surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and teaches public health policy as Professor of Surgery and Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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 The Checklist Manifesto.[1] Makary was named one of the most influential people in healthcare by HealthLeader magazine.[2] In 2018, Makary was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.[3]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Makary has been a prolific pundit discussing the topics of COVID-19 and mitigation strategies. He was an early advocate for universal masking to control the pandemic and recommends vaccines for adults,[4] but has been an outspoken opponent of broad vaccine mandates and some COVID restrictions at schools.[5][6]


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. He 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

Makary completed a surgical residency at Georgetown University[7] 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.[8] In his first few years on the faculty at Johns Hopkins, Makary researched and wrote articles on the prevention of surgical complications.[9] He published on frailty[10] 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".[11] Makary worked with the World Health Organization[12] to develop the official World Health Organization Surgical Checklist.[1] For his contributions to the field of medicine, Makary was named Mark Ravitch Chair in Gastrointestinal Surgery, an endowed chair at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, becoming the youngest endowed chair recipient 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.[7] In 2020, Makary was named Editor-in-Chief of MedPage Today. He was also appointed chief of the Johns Hopkins Islet Transplant Center, clinical lead for the Johns Hopkins Sibley Innovation Hub, Executive Director of Improving Wisely, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project to lower health care costs, is founder of the Johns Hopkins Center For Surgical Outcomes Research and Clinical Trials, and Professor of Surgery and Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.[13]

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.[14] He has traveled with his international team overseas.[15] Makary specializes in advanced laparoscopic surgery and performed the first laparoscopic Whipple surgery at Johns Hopkins and the first laparoscopic Frey's procedure for pancreatitis.[16][17]

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,[18] 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.[19]

He has written for The Wall Street Journal,[20] USA Today, Time, Newsweek,[21] and CNN,[22] and appears on NBC and Fox News.[23]

Makary has also called for the public reporting physician-endorsed quality measures by hospitals.[24][25] 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.[26]

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",[27] covered by Kaiser Heath News,[28] led Senator Chuck Grassley's office to announce an investigation.[29]

COVID-19 pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Makary has been a proponent of treating the COVID-19 pandemic as a true public health threat,[30] masking,[31] vaccines and early vaccination strategies[32] that prioritized maximum coverage against severe disease similar to the UK vaccination strategy, and protection provided by natural immunity.[33] Dr. Makary has also been an outspoken opponent of vaccine mandates, various FDA & CDC policies, and restrictions at colleges and universities.[34]

In February 2020, Makary was vocal that the United States needed to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously and that people should stop all non-essential travel. He warned of disruptions to both the United States healthcare system and to people's daily lives. In addition Makary called for a national lockdown to help slow the spread of the virus and enable the healthcare system to respond and reduce morbidity and mortality.[35] In May 2020, Makary advocated for universal masking in an effort to enable businesses and schools to re-open to minimize economic and educational damage across the United States.[36] In May 2020, it was still debated by many in the scientific community as to whether masks provided much protection against infection,[37][38][39] however high-quality masking has proven an effective measure at limiting the spread of COVID-19.[40][41]

In November 2020, Makary was critical of the pace at which the FDA were approving the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer.[42] Makary had taken issue with the speed at which various US government health organizations had taken to evaluate medications or perform COVID-19 based research.[43] In early February 2021, Makary advocated for prioritizing getting as many vaccinated with single doses vs holding vaccines back for second doses.[44] Single dose vaccination strategies, like done in the United Kingdom,[45] have shown to be effective[medical citation needed] and conditions upon when to implement single dose vaccination strategies have continued to be researched to assess optimal conditions for single or multiple doses.[46]

Makary stated in a February 2021 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal that "At the current trajectory" in the United States COVID-19 would "be mostly gone by April" 2021, primarily as a result of naturally acquired immunity.[47] The article's estimates of population immunity were criticized for being higher than the best available data supported.[48] On 1 May 2021, the national average 7 day case rate was 105 per 100,000,[49] a rate of community transmission the CDC described as "High Transmission" (the highest of four categories).[50]

Makary considers himself pro-vaccine but has also criticized vaccination mandates for populations other than healthcare workers.[51] Makary recommended a single-dose mRNA vaccine regimen for children 12-17 to minimize the occurrence of myocarditis as a reaction, contrary to the CDC's finding that the risks of infection "far outweigh" those of the two-dose vaccine schedule.[51][52] In December 2021 he appeared on a podcast to argue against vaccine boosters, referring to himself as an "unboosted male" and saying that the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant was "nature's vaccine".[53]


Makary is the author of the New York Times Best Selling book Unaccountable, in which he proposes that common sense, physician-led solutions can fix the healthcare system.[54][55] The book was turned into the popular TV series, The Resident, which aired on Fox in 2018.[56] Makary is also the author of Mama Maggie a personal story about his distant relative Magda Gobran, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee working in the garbage slums of Cairo.[57][58][59] His latest book, The Price We Pay, was released in 2018 and describes how business leaders can lower their health care costs and explores the grass-roots movement to restore medicine to its noble mission.[60] Makary is also the editor of the surgery textbook "General Surgery Review".[61]

Awards and recognition

Makary is the recipient of numerous research and teaching awards, including the Best Teacher Award for Georgetown Medical School[15] 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.[62] In 2018, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.[63]


  1. ^ a b Gawande, Atul (2009). The Checklist Manifesto. New York, NY: Metropolitan Books. pp. 101. ISBN 978-0-312-43000-9.
  2. ^ Clark, Cherl (17 December 2013). "HL20: Martin Makary, MD—Pushing to Improve Transparency and Quality Standards". HealthLeader. Archived from the original on 10 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Johns Hopkins Faculty Members Elected to National Academy of Medicine". Johns Hopkins Medicine Newsroom. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  4. ^ Makary, Martin (10 June 2021). "Opinion | Think Twice Before Giving the COVID Vax to Healthy Kids". Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  5. ^ Friedersdorf, Conor (5 January 2022). "Omicron and the Return to Normalcy". The Atlantic. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  6. ^ Ward, Myah. "The Hopkins doc vs. the vaccine consensus". POLITICO. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  7. ^ a b Hopkins, Johns. "Martin A. Makary M.D., M.P.H." Johns Hopkins Medicine. Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  8. ^ Flynn, Ramsey. "Judgement Day". Hopkins Medicine Magazine. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  9. ^ Coldwell, Dr. "Medical Mistakes More Common Than You Think". Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ ExpertFile. "Dr. Marty Makary Physician, Researcher, Author, Medical Commentator - Expert with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine & Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health | ExpertFile". Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Martin Adel Makary, M.D., M.P.H." The Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Martin Makary Receives National Pancreas Foundation's 2015 Nobility in Science Award - 10/28/2015". Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  15. ^ a b Hopkins, John. "Martin Makary Faculty Directory Profile". Johns Hopkins. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  16. ^ Cohn, Meredith. "Pancreatic cancer operation done laparoscopically". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  17. ^ Fan, Caleb J.; Hirose, Kenzo; Walsh, Christi M.; Quartuccio, Michael; Desai, Niraj M.; Singh, Vikesh K.; Kalyani, Rita R.; Warren, Daniel S.; Sun, Zhaoli (1 June 2017). "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.
  18. ^ 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. S2CID 9097138.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Makary, Marty (10 July 2014). "A Minimally Invasive Approach to Health-Care Reform". The Wall Street Journal.
  21. ^ "The Daily Beast". The Daily Beast.
  22. ^ Makary, Martin (28 December 2015). "Why our health care system is broken". CNN. CNN. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  23. ^ Makary, Marty (10 July 2015). "New FDA Warning". FOX News. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  24. ^ Reinberg, Steven. "Surgery on Wrong Patients, Surgical Sites Persists, Study Finds". Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "When Hospitals Sue For Unpaid Bills, It Can Be 'Ruinous' For Patients". Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  27. ^ 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. S2CID 26723799.
  28. ^ "Drugs For Rare Diseases Have Become Uncommonly Rich Monopolies". Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  29. ^ "Sen. Grassley Launches Inquiry Into Orphan Drug Law's Effect On Prices". Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  30. ^ Stankiewicz, Kevin (10 March 2020). "Johns Hopkins' Dr. Marty Makary on coronavirus: 'What happened in Wuhan could happen here'". CNBC. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  31. ^ Makary, Marty (14 May 2020). "Opinion | How to Reopen America Safely". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  32. ^ Makary, Marty (3 February 2021). "Dr. Marty Makary: Why first COVID vaccine dose is all I'll get for now". Fox News. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  33. ^ Makary, Marty (26 January 2022). "Opinion | The High Cost of Disparaging Natural Immunity to Covid". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  34. ^ Ward, Myah. "The Hopkins doc vs. the vaccine consensus". POLITICO. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  35. ^ Stankiewicz, Kevin (10 March 2020). "Johns Hopkins' Dr. Marty Makary on coronavirus: 'What happened in Wuhan could happen here'". CNBC. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  36. ^ Makary, Marty (14 May 2020). "Opinion | How to Reopen America Safely". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  37. ^ "Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza". Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  38. ^ Xiao, Jingyi; Shiu, Eunice Y. C.; Gao, Huizhi; Wong, Jessica Y.; Fong, Min W.; Ryu, Sukhyun; Cowling, Benjamin J. (2020). "Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures - Volume 26, Number 5—May 2020 - Emerging Infectious Diseases journal - CDC". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 26 (5): 967–975. doi:10.3201/eid2605.190994. PMC 7181938. PMID 32027586.
  39. ^ Klompas, Michael; Morris, Charles A.; Sinclair, Julia; Pearson, Madelyn; Shenoy, Erica S. (21 May 2020). "Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era". New England Journal of Medicine. 382 (21): e63. doi:10.1056/NEJMp2006372. ISSN 0028-4793. PMID 32237672. S2CID 214766754.
  40. ^ Wang, Yuxin; Deng, Zicheng; Shi, Donglu (5 January 2021). "How effective is a mask in preventing COVID‐19 infection?". Medical Devices & Sensors. 4: e10163. doi:10.1002/mds3.10163. ISSN 2573-802X. PMC 7883189. PMID 33615150.
  41. ^ "Can face masks protect against COVID-19?". Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  42. ^ Creitz, Charles (30 November 2020). "Dr. Marty Makary blasts FDA timetable to approve coronavirus vaccine: 'Why are they waiting three weeks?'". Fox News. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  43. ^ Makary, Marty (13 September 2021). "Opinion | Covid Confusion at the CDC". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  44. ^ Makary, Marty (3 February 2021). "Dr. Marty Makary: Why first COVID vaccine dose is all I'll get for now". Fox News. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  45. ^ Jones, Nick K.; Rivett, Lucy; Seaman, Shaun; Samworth, Richard J.; Warne, Ben; Workman, Chris; Ferris, Mark; Wright, Jo; Quinnell, Natalie; Shaw, Ashley; Cambridge COVID-19 Collaboration (8 April 2021). "Single-dose BNT162b2 vaccine protects against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection". eLife. 10: e68808. doi:10.7554/eLife.68808. ISSN 2050-084X. PMC 8064747. PMID 33830018.
  46. ^ Böttcher, Lucas; Nagler, Jan (20 October 2021). "Decisive Conditions for Strategic Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2". Chaos. 31 (101105): 101105. doi:10.1063/5.0066992. PMID 34717322. S2CID 240356527.
  47. ^ Makary, Marty (18 February 2021). "Opinion: We'll Have Herd Immunity by April". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 19 February 2021.
  48. ^ Teoh, Flora (26 February 2021). "Misleading Wall Street Journal opinion piece makes the unsubstantiated claim that the U.S. will have herd immunity by April 2021". Health Feedback. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  49. ^ "COVID Data Tracker". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 28 March 2020. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  50. ^ Christie, Athalia (2021). "Guidance for Implementing COVID-19 Prevention Strategies in the Context of Varying Community Transmission Levels and Vaccination Coverage". MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 70 (30): 1044–1047. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm7030e2. PMC 8323553. PMID 34324480. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  51. ^ a b Ward, Myah (13 October 2021). "The Hopkins doc vs. the vaccine consensus". Politico. Retrieved 9 November 2021.
  52. ^ "COVID-19 Vaccination". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 26 September 2022.
  53. ^ Howard J (1 July 2022). "What's the Opposite of a Vaccine Selfie?". Science-Based Medicine.
  54. ^ 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.
  55. ^ Cowles, Gregory. "Print & E-Books". The New York Times.
  56. ^ Chase, Dave (17 January 2018). "The TV Series Hospital CEOs Don't Want You To See". Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  57. ^ 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.
  58. ^ Glenn, David (2015). "Mama Maggie: The Untold Story of One Woman's Mission to Love the Forgotten Children of Egypt's Garbage Slums". Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  59. ^ Shaker, Nada (5 March 2020). "Egypt's Coptic philanthropist nominated for Nobel Prize - Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East". Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  60. ^ 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.
  61. ^ Schäfer, Markus (1 April 2010). "Martin A. Makary (eds): General Surgery Review (2nd Edition)". World Journal of Surgery. 34 (4): 874. doi:10.1007/s00268-010-0405-8. ISSN 1432-2323.
  62. ^ "Marty Makary Profile". GoGoMag. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  63. ^ "National Academy of Medicine Elects 85 New Members". National Academy of Medicine. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2019.

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