Health News Review
  • Mar 7 2014

    Robotic surgery roundup: great small paper journalism, new marketing/ad campaigns

    Since I think it’s a safe bet that not many of you regularly read The Bulletin newspaper of Bend, Oregon, I suggest you read a two-part series by Markian Hawryluk as just one indication of the difference one individual can make, no matter the size of the news organization. In part one, “Robot surgery is [...]

    4 Comments
  • Mar 6 2014

    Improving news releases by medical journals and academic medical centers

    The journal Evidence-Based Medicine recently published an editorial, “Journals should lead the way in improving medical press releases,” by Dr. Joshua Fenton of the University of California, Davis. As one who has written frequently about flaws in journal news releases,* I am pleased to hear another voice call for change. Excerpts of his editorial: While [...]

    No Comments
  • Mar 6 2014

    Why the Scandinavian prostate cancer study doesn’t translate to the U.S.

    Lots of news coverage about a Scandinavian prostate cancer study.  Here’s a guest post on the study from Richard M. Hoffman, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and Staff Physician in the New Mexico VA Health Care System.  He has done story reviews and written blog posts [...]

    5 Comments
  • Feb 25 2014

    Thyroid cancer: “not an epidemic of disease but an epidemic of diagnosis”

    A paper in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, “Current Thyroid Cancer Trends in the United States,” addresses overdiagnosis of thyroid cancer.  The authors report a tripling of incidence over the past 40 years, but a stable death rate.  The authors write that nearly all of the increase was in less aggressive [...]

    No Comments
  • Feb 24 2014

    Bohemian Polypharmacy – latest in clever YouTube video series

    I don’t know how James McCormack, Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia, finds time to produce these videos, but I’m a big fan.  His latest is “Bohemian Polypharmacy” – a parody of Queen’s classic song “Bohemian Rhapsody” – a song all about polypharmacy – taking more medicines than are clinically indicated. [...]

    2 Comments
  • Feb 23 2014

    Star Tribune: Many dermatologists prefer lucrative cosmetic work to treating cancers

    Interesting story in the Star Tribune, on “Dermatology’s Tug of War.” Its primary theme – claims about a shortage of dermatologists – has been making headlines for a long time.  Some doubt whether there’s a real shortage.  (See dermatologist Orin Goldblum’s comments in this story, for example.) But the secondary theme is what intrigues me:  [...]

    2 Comments
  • Feb 22 2014

    Nonivasive heart imaging tests lead to invasive tests but not to better outcomes

    I found a Medscape story about the following.  Nothing else.  Granted, I can’t see/find everything, so I may have missed some reporting on this.  But nothing jumped out at me in a web search.  Why not? A paper in JAMA Internal Medicine, “Hospital Variation in the Use of Noninvasive Cardiac Imaging and Its Association With [...]

    2 Comments
  • Feb 20 2014

    “Medical Matters” program debuts on Public Radio Tulsa

    I’m pleased to be part of a radio series on Public Radio Tulsa for at least the next four weeks.  It’s called “Medical Matters,” hosted by Dr. John Schumann. The series debuts today. Each week, he’ll ask me to review 3 or 4 health care stories that caught my eye. You can listen by clicking [...]

    No Comments
  • Feb 19 2014

    Health/science news criticism: “nothing at stake here except the survival of credible journalism”

    Paul Raeburn of the Knight Science Journalism Tracker wrote: The Washington Post announced Tuesday that it will stop reprinting university and other press releases in its Health & Science section following the disclosure of the practice by the Knight Science Journalism Tracker last Friday. The fact that a blogger like Raeburn had to be the [...]

    1 Comment
  • Feb 7 2014

    New cholesterol guidelines present need for shared decision-making

    Dr. Victor Montori and two Mayo Clinic colleagues published a perspective piece in JAMA this week, “Patient-Centered and Practical Application of New High Cholesterol Guidelines to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease.” In it, they discuss the new American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines for assessing cardiovascular disease and for treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce [...]

    2 Comments