Skip to main content
Cover for Unaccountable


What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care

Martin Makary


List Price: 18.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


New York Times Bestseller

“Every once in a while a book comes along that rocks the foundations of an established order that's seriously in need of being shaken. The modern American hospital is that establishment and Unaccountable is that book.”-Shannon Brownlee, author of Overtreated

Dr. Marty Makary is co-developer of the life-saving checklist outlined in Atul Gawande's bestselling The Checklist Manifesto. As a busy surgeon who has worked in many of the best hospitals in the nation, he can testify to the amazing power of modern medicine to cure. But he's also been a witness to a medical culture that routinely leaves surgical sponges inside patients, amputates the wrong limbs, and overdoses children because of sloppy handwriting.

Over the last ten years, neither error rates nor costs have come down, despite scientific progress and efforts to curb expenses. Why? To patients, the healthcare system is a black box. Doctors and hospitals are unaccountable, and the lack of transparency leaves both bad doctors and systemic flaws unchecked. Patients need to know more of what healthcare workers know, so they can make informed choices. Accountability in healthcare would expose dangerous doctors, reward good performance, and force positive change nationally, using the power of the free market.

Unaccountable is a powerful, no-nonsense, non-partisan diagnosis for healing our hospitals and reforming our broken healthcare system.

Praise For Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care

"The problems he describes are real and disturbing . . . Dr. Makary argues that true reform will only come with full disclosure." - Laura Landro, The Wall Street Journal

"Makary's diagnosis is dangerous, damaging secrecy; his therapy is radical transparency . . . [His] argument is powerful . . . [He] makes a strong case that the system we have is a disaster for patients." - Trine Tsouderos, Chicago Tribune

Unaccountable is a gripping story about what's wrong with the American healthcare system and what we might do to make it better.” —Peter Pronovost MD, PhD, Executive Vice-President, John Hopkins Hospital

“A startling revelation of the dysfunction deeply embedded in the very culture of American medical practice, problems that healthcare reform scarcely beings to address.” —Peter Boyer, Senior Correspondent for Newsweek

"This book should be read by all people, not just doctors and health administrators, so they can make wise decisions when it comes to choosing where, when and who will provide healthcare for themselves and their loved ones. You will be a wiser health consumer for reading this book." —Michael E Johns, M.D., Chancellor, Emory University

Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781608198382, 256pp.

Publication Date: October 15, 2013

About the Author

Marty Makary, M.D., M.P.H. is a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital and a professor of Health Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He is an advocate for health care innovation, writing in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He has written extensively on organizational culture, the science of measuring quality in medicine, and health care reform. Dr. Makary is principle investigator of a Robert Wood Foundation Grant to lower health care costs in the U.S. by creating physician-endorsed measures of appropriate medical care and directs the national “Improving Wisely” project to reduce waste in medicine. He is the author of the bestselling book Mama Maggie—a book about a Nobel prize nominee, and the forthcoming The Price We Pay. He speaks nationally on disruptive innovation in health care.