Health News Review
  • Feb 9 2012

    Reuters gauges hype during Heart Month: lists 5 tests you might NOT need

    Frederik Joelving and Genevra Pittman of Reuters Health tag team a solid piece of consumer health journalism in which they remind readers: February is American Heart Month and consumers will be bombarded with advice to keep their ticker healthy — whether it’s from the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women or the National Heart, [...]

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  • Feb 9 2012

    Do patients always get all of the information they need from their physician?

    The following is a guest post by Harold DeMonaco, MS, a member of our editorial team, and Director of the Innovation Support Center at the Massachusetts General Hospital.  A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences he holds a bachelors degree in pharmacy and a masters degree in therapeutics.  He has [...]

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  • Feb 9 2012

    Brief reflection on news industry economic woes

    This is just a periodic reminder to our readers:  yes, we are aware of the difficult economic times many are facing in the news industry. The news of the Washington Post offering staff buyouts for the fifth time in recent years is just the latest example. Sometimes journalists will write to us, defensively, saying things [...]

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  • Feb 8 2012

    Will “End of Illness” book promotion ever end?

    German physician-journalist Christoph Specht wrote to me about what he called an “unbelievably un-balanced book-selling segment on CNN.” It was still another network TV news promotion of Dr. David Agus’ book, “The End of Illness.” In the segment, Agus urges listeners to consider daily statin and aspirin use. He says they can get a 90-day [...]

    5 Comments 1 Star
  • Feb 7 2012

    Facts/fallacies on breast and ovarian cancer screening

    Breast cancer specialist Dr. Susan Love has an essay in the New York Times, “Real Race in Cancer Is Finding Its Cause,” in which she says the recent Komen/Planned Parenthood “furor misses an important fact: Women have been led to believe that screening is the best prevention.” She continues: “…the original screening study done in [...]

    3 Comments 1 Star
  • Feb 6 2012

    How hospitals recoup the cost of buying robotic surgery systems

    The blogger known only as the Skeptical Scalpel (self-described as a surgeon for 40 years and a surgical department chairman and residency program director for over 23 of those years) continues his thread of posts raising questions about the proliferation of robotic surgery. The latest is entitled “Study: Robotic surgery financials explained.” It’s his take [...]

    4 Comments 1 Star
  • Feb 3 2012

    The Komen Kollection

    There has been no need for the Watchdog to weigh in on the Planned Parenthood/Komen fiasco this week.  We generally tend to write about things that otherwise might go un-noticed.  This issue – deservedly – was inescapable this week in news stories and through social media. We remind you that we tend to focus on [...]

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  • Feb 2 2012

    Why we review newspapers’ blogs the same way we review the print edition

    Because, in a nutshell, we find them all the same way – online.  We don’t get ink on our fingers by reading a dozen or more newspapers every day.  We – like an increasing number of people around the world – get our news online where blogs look just like stories from the newspaper, where [...]

    2 Comments 1 Star
  • Feb 1 2012

    Under-reported prostate cancer news: study questions proton beam therapy; NJ clash between evidence & politics

    As far as I can tell, Marilynn Marchione of the AP is the only mainstream news media journalist to report that  “A study of Medicare records found that men treated with proton beams later had one-third more bowel problems, such as bleeding and blockages, than similar men given conventional radiation.” She reports that results “were [...]

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  • Feb 1 2012

    Readers may be snared in heart journal’s tangled web of conflicts

    The following is a guest post by Kevin Lomangino, one of our story reviewers on He is an independent medical journalist and editor who is currently Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Nutrition Insight, a monthly evidence-based newsletter which reviews the scientific literature on nutrition for physicians and dietitians. He tweets as @Klomangino. ———————————————————————————————- Blogger Marilyn Mann [...]

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