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Martin A. Makary, MD

  • Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

Osler 624, 600 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21231


The Price We Pay
Improving Wisely, The Wall Street Journal
Article: Lowering health care costs in America

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Dr. Makary is a health care futurist, Johns Hopkins surgeon, and Professor of Health Policy & Management. Makary is a New York Times bestselling and a leading voice for physicians, writing for the Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

His book The Price We Pay writes about re-building the public trust in the medical profession. He advocates for the new movement of relationship-based clinics that spend time with patients to address the social, economic, and lifestyle determinants of health. In the book, Dr. Makary also exposed the leading health care story of 2019—the practice of hospitals suing patients, a practice he has led to fight against which has resulted in many hospitals stopping all lawsuits against patients. His book has been described as “a must-read for every American” by Steve Forbes and a “deep dive into the real issues driving up the cost of health care” by Dr. Don Berwick. His previous bestselling book Unaccountable was adapted for television into the hit medical series "The Resident"

Dr. Makary is a champion of lifestyle medicine and the re-design of how people interface with the health care system. As gastrointestinal surgeon, he is a strong proponent of healthy foods and the impact of the microbiome on health. Dr. Makary advises several businesses on how to find quality care and use a holistic approach to healthy living.

Dr. Makary has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine and named one of America’s 20 most influential people in health care by Health Leaders magazine. He is the Editor-in-Chief of MedPage Today and has multiple grants to study the appropriateness of medical care, drug prices, and the impact of the health care cost crisis on low-income populations. Using a non-partisan approach, Dr. Makary has written extensively on the current billing-throughput system of medical care and the disruptors who are revolutionizing health care.

Dr. Makary was the lead author the Surgical Checklist and later served in leadership with Atul Gawande on the World Health Organization Surgery Checklist project. Makary has published more than 250 scientific articles, including articles on health care transparency, vulnerable populations, and health reform. His newest book, The Price We Pay, released Sept 2019, tells the stories of health care’s disruptive innovators and the new movement to restore medicine to its mission.

Honors and Awards

Member, The National Academy of Medicine

Best Teacher Award, Georgetown Univeristy

Nobility in Science Award, National Pancreas Foundation

Dennis Jahnigan Research Award, American Geriatrics Society

Smartest People in Health Care, Becker's Review

Diplomat, American Board of Surgery


  • Public Policy
  • Health Care Costs
  • Appropriateness of Medical Care
  • Quality Measurement
  • Payment Reform
  • Evaluation of Health Care Innovation
  • Implementation Science
  • Opioid Epidemic
  • Surgical Care
  • Health Care Disparities
  • Drug Pricing
  • Price Transparency
  • Medical education
  • Vulnerable populations

Most highly cited articles for Martin A. Makary M.D.

  • First Publications introducing the surgery checklist: Makary MA et al. Operating room briefings: working on the same page. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2006 Jun;32(6):351-5. MA Makary et al. Operating room briefings and wrong site surgery. J Am Coll Surg 204(2),236-243. 2006 Dec 08. Nundy S, et al. Impact of Preoperative Briefings on Operating Room Delays
  • JAMA article creating measure of billing quality for U.S. health care: Matthews S, Makary MA. Billing Quality is Medical Quality, JAMA. Feb, 2020. JAMA editorial on Corporate Medicine and Hospital Monopolies: The Potential Hazards of Hospital Consolidation: Implications for Quality, Access, and Price. JAMA. 2015;314(13):1337-1338.
  • Article introducing a hospital survey of patient safety culture: Makary MA et. al., Patient Safety in Surgery. Ann Surg. 2006 May;243(5):628-32;
  • The association between frailty and patient outcomes: Makary MA et al., Frailty as a predictor of surgical outcome. J Am Coll Surg 2010;210:901–908.
  • A call to reform the Orphan Drug Act to lower drug prices in the U.S.
  • U.S. Health Care Costs