Podcast | The Practice of Medicine | November 17, 2020

Discharge Against Medical Advice

Join SMJ Editor-in-Chief Dr. Steven Baldwin as he discusses discharge against medical advice with Dr. Guruaj Kolar. Dr. Kolar and Dr. Eric Valder authored a letter to the editor in the October 2020 issue of the SMJ that addresses this topic. During this podcast, Dr. Kolar provides details of discharge against medical advice status that commonly may be misunderstood or underappreciated by patients and clinicians, as well as discusses that patients leaving AMA may have increased risk for morbidity or mortality. He also shares insight regarding the myths and reality of the belief that being discharged against medical advice will result in denial of payment by health insurers.

Earn CME Credit


  1. Kolar GJ, Valder ED. Discharge against medical advice. South Med J 2020;113:507.
  2. Alfandre DJ. “I’m going home”: discharges against medical advice. Mayo Clin Proc 2009;84:255–260.
  3. Wigder HN, Propp DA, Leslie K, et al. Insurance companies refusing payment for patients who leave the emergency department against medical advice is a myth. Ann Emerg Med 2010;55:393.
  4. Schaefer GR, Matus H, Schumann JH, et al. Financial responsibility of hospitalized patients who left against medical advice: medical urban legend? J Gen Intern Med 2012;27:825–830.

About Dr. Kolar: Dr. Kolar is a member of the Department of Hospital Medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, Minnesota. 

Dr. Kolar did not report any financial relationships or conflicts of interest
Dr. Valder indicated the following: My only entity paying me is The University of Minnesota, as I am a PGY-3. As well as Health Partners, my future employer, after signing my contract with them. Nothing else to report.