Health News Review
  • Feb 20 2015

    NBC Nightly News: News program? Or “Doc In The Box” on-air advice segment?

    I was tempted to let this observation fly by unaddressed because I don’t want it to appear as if I’m picking on NBC and its new medical contributor, Dr. Natalie Azar. But there’s a pattern unraveling on the air that, in my opinion, must be addressed and changed. Last night, on the NBC Nightly News, [...]

    No Comments
  • Feb 20 2015

    CBS promotes “essential/critical” screening tests but never mentions over-diagnosis

    The following is a guest blog post by Alan Cassels, a pharmaceutical policy researcher at the University of Victoria and the author of Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease (Greystone, 2012). The opinions are his; you are welcome to your own. —————————- While the Beatles might have famously sang that “All you [...]

    12 Comments
  • Feb 19 2015

    Dr. Manny, The Medicine Hunter, and a wild, psychoactive trip on network TV

    We could subtitle this:  Ayahuasca And The Anaconda. For about 8 minutes on Fox News the other day, Dr. Manny Alvarez, the network’s Senior Managing Editor for Health News, turned over the tube to Chris Kilham, the self-proclaimed Medicine Hunter, to promote his new book and to share 8 minutes of data-free psychedelic drug hype. If my [...]

    1 Comment
  • Feb 19 2015

    Patient’s blog perpsective on proposed name change for chronic fatigue syndrome

    Journalist Miriam Tucker wrote on Twitter this week:  “Patient reaction to the chronic fatigue syndrome name change has been mixed.”  And then she linked to a blog post by Tina Tidmore, who describes herself as a newspaper editor and publisher until 2009 when her health deteriorated and she changed to a freelance communications career.  Now, [...]

    No Comments
  • Feb 18 2015

    British website gets “sassy” on Twitter about flawed health care journalism

    London-based BuzzFeed reporter Jamie Ross writes, “The NHS Is Calling Out Journalists On Twitter For Getting Their Facts Wrong.” The NHS is the British National Health Service. The NHS contracts with a company called Bazian to look “Behind the Headlines” on health news stories. We’ve written several times about the project.  For example: Rise in cancer [...]

    No Comments
  • Feb 17 2015

    Sensational language – scary & fawning – in USNWR story on Cologuard colon cancer test

    Earlier this month, US News & World Report published a story, “Meet Cologuard: The Colon Cancer Test You Can Take At Home.” It profiles a man who had what is described as a “gruesome” experience from a colonoscopy 35 years ago – so bad “that he vowed never to have another screening test for colorectal [...]

    1 Comment
  • Feb 16 2015

    A new MD-journalist asks, “Is there a role for the physician-journalist?”

    Last week I wrote that NBC News medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar was placed into a conflict of interest situation when asked to comment on the air about a story concerning Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (also called ME/CFS with a new proposal to call it Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease). Dr. Azar delivered her comments after being [...]

    4 Comments
  • Feb 13 2015

    Who funded the research? It’s always an important question.

    The following is a guest blog post from one of our contributors, veteran health care journalist Trudy Lieberman. Trudy keeps an eye out for the way in which health care topics are promoted to the public, often with a special focus on how health care policy might be influenced by news and health care communication. ———————— [...]

    1 Comment
  • Feb 12 2015

    Academic science journalism project unveils gaps in reporting research misconduct

    In JAMA Internal Medicine this week there’s an article that is especially newsworthy:  “Research Misconduct Identified by the US Food and Drug Administration:  Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Out of the Peer-Reviewed Literature.”  Excerpts: Every year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspects several hundred clinical sites performing biomedical research on human participants [...]

    No Comments
  • Feb 11 2015

    Brian Williams isn’t NBC’s only ethical problem; check medical news coverage issues

    So Brian Williams, it’s now reported, will be suspended without pay for 6 months by NBC News after his false claims about an experience during the Iraq war. A few months ago, NBC’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Nancy Snyderman was taken off the air after “a breach of her Ebola quarantine.”  Almost immediately, NBC brought [...]

    16 Comments