Marty Makary

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Martin Makary
Makary 971.jpg
Dr. Marty Makary
Born Liverpool, England
Occupation Physician
Spouse(s) Kirsten Powers (married 2010 to 2013)

Martin “Marty” Makary is an American surgeon and New York Times best-selling author[1] and is a frequent television medical commentator for NBC and FoxNews.[2] Makary has written articles for The Wall Street Journal, [3] TIME, Newsweek Magazine[4] and CNN.[5] He practices advanced laparoscopic surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and teaches health policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Makary is known as an international expert in patient safety and served in a leadership role at the United Nations World Health Organization for the Safe Surgery Saves Lives initiative.[6] In 2013, Makary was named one of the most influential people in healthcare by Health Magazine.[7]

Makary is an advocate for transparency in medicine and various healthcare initiatives such as The Surgical Checklist, which he developed at Johns Hopkins, and which was popularized in Atul Gawande’s best-selling book Checklist Manifesto.[8] In 2013, Makary testified to the U.S. Congress on the need for more transparency in healthcare, including access of data to medical researchers, repeal of the SGR, and patient-centered research. Makary has argued that professional physician associations are in the best position to define and endorse the validity of quality metrics in healthcare.[9] In 2009, the American College of Surgeons recommended Makary to President Barack Obama for the position of Surgeon General of the United States.[10]


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 attended Bucknell University and later attended Thomas Jefferson University and Harvard University, where he obtained a Masters of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree, with a concentration in Health Policy. Makary was president of the student body at the Harvard School of Public Health, and later served on the alumni board. Makary moved to Washington D.C. and completed a surgical residency at Georgetown University.[6]

Professional career[edit]

After a five-year surgical training program at Georgetown, Makary began sub-specialty training at Johns Hopkins, under surgeon John Cameron, before joining Cameron’s faculty practice as a partner and assistant professor.[11] In his first few years on the faculty at Johns Hopkins, Makary researched and wrote many articles on medical mistakes and the prevention of surgical complications.[12] He published extensively on safety and teamwork culture in medicine. Makary is the first author of the original scientific publications describing "The Surgery Checklist" [13] For these accomplishments, Makary was asked to serve in roles at the World Health Organization 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 given 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.[6]

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,[14] 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.[15]


Makary is the author of The New York Times Best Selling book Unaccountable[1] (Bloomsbury Press, U.S.A.), in which he proposes that common sense solutions can fix the healthcare system, and the book "Mama Maggie".[16] Makary is also the author of a textbook of surgery used in many U.S. medical schools.


Makary is an advocate for transparency in healthcare. He regularly speaks on the need for hospitals to make their outcomes available on the internet so consumers can choose where to go, based on performance. He has also called for the public reporting of annual rates of catastrophic mistakes (e.g., retained sponges and wrong-site surgery) by hospitals.[17] He and Bryan Sexton have urged hundreds of hospitals to take the "Culture of Safety Survey" and make their results available to their communities. Makary has also pioneered the concept that doctors should offer patients a copy of videos of their procedures.[18]


Makary is a pancreatic surgeon and was awarded the Nobility in Science Award by the National Pancreas Foundation in 2015. He has traveled with his international team overseas.[19] Makary specializes in advanced laparoscopic surgery and performed the first laparoscopic Whipple surgery at Johns Hopkins and the first laparoscopic pancreas islet transplant operation.[20]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Makary is the recipient of numerous research and teaching awards, including the Best Teacher Award for Georgetown Medical School[19] and research awards from the Washington Academy of Surgery and the New England Surgical Society. He has been a visiting professor at several U.S. medical schools and lectures frequently on medical care in the U.S.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Makary is of Coptic Egyptian origin.[22] He was married to Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers[23] from 2010 to 2013.


  1. ^ a b Cowles, Gregory. "Print & E-Books". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Makary, Marty. "Doc: Paula Deen Needs to Clean Up Her Cooking". HLN. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Makary, Marty (21 September 2012). "How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us". The Wall Street Journal. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Makary, Martin (2 January 2013). "Is Your Hospital Hurting You?". CNN. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Hopkins, Johns. "Martin A. Makary M.D., M.P.H.". Johns Hopkins Medicine. Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "20 People Who are Making a Difference In Healthcare". Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Gawande, Atul (2009). The Checklist Manifesto. New York, NY: Metropolitan Books. p. 101. ISBN 0-312-43000-0. 
  9. ^ Retrieved 30 May 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Dornic, Matt. "Could Dr. Marty Makary Be the Next Surgeon General?". Surgeon General Recommendation Letter. American College of Surgeons. Retrieved 5 November 2011. 
  11. ^ Flynn, Ramsey. n/w10/feature3.cfm "Judgement Day" Check |url= value (help). Hopkins Medicine Magazine. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Coldwell, Dr. "Medical Mistakes More Common Than You Think". Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  13. ^ 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: 351–5. PMID 16776390. 
  14. ^ Maugh II, Thomas H. (30 June 2011). "Obese patients 12 times as likely to suffer complications from plastic surgery, study finds". LA Times. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  15. ^ Makary, Martin (2006). "Patient Safety in Surgery". Annals of Surgery. 243: 628–32; discussion 632–5. doi:10.1097/01.sla.0000216410.74062.0f. PMC 1570547Freely accessible. PMID 16632997. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Reinberg, Steven. "Surgery on Wrong Patients, Surgical Sites Persists, Study Finds". Bloomberg Business Week. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  18. ^ Makary, Marty. "Operating Room Briefings and Wrong-Site Surgery" (PDF). American College of Surgeons. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Hopkins, John. "Martin Makary Faculty Directory Profile". Johns Hopkins. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  20. ^ Cohn, Meredith. "Pancreatic cancer operation done laparoscopically". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "Marty Makary Profile". GoGoMag. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  22. ^ Powers, Kirsten (3 February 2011). "America's Naivete About Egypt". The Daily Beast. 
  23. ^ McCabe, Neil (2012-10-10). "Makary: Americans victims of medical errors, waste". Human Events. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 

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