We should expect better from a medical journal

I’ve reported many times on news organizations hyping medical technologies. But this past week, a medical journal – BMJ – did the same thing in its “news” section, presenting only the fantastic potential of robotic surgery without any evidence – any quantification – of potential benefits and harms and without any discussion of costs. The […]


Stop running scared

Shannon Brownlee on disease-mongering.


WSJ Health Blog's March Madness drug company CEO brackets

At a conference yesterday, Scott Hensley of the Wall Street Journal Health blog showed off a story I had missed. Since it’s the last day of March and basketball’s Final Four is now set, the time is just right to look at it. See the Journal’s “Our March Madness: The Drug Company CEO Bracketâ€?. They […]


Happy 10th Birthday to Assoc. of Health Care Journalists

The Association of Health Care Journalists is celebrating its 10th birthday. AHCJ has become a leader in quality improvement in health journalism – and a leader in the entire journalism industry. That effort – and many others – like our University of Minnesota health journalism MA program – are striving to improve the flow of […]


March madness in medical news on network TV

Reviews of network TV health news stories on HealthNewsReview.org so far in March would suggest it’s more like Halloween season than Easter. The stories have been so bad, it’s scary. Examples & excerpts: Medical breakthrough? New procedure fights tumorsABC’s Good Morning AmericaMarch 18, 2008Rating: 1 star Excerpt of our summary: “This short story presents little […]


Newspaper lets hospital buy news coverage

I’ve blogged in the past about TV news operations accepting sponsored news deals with local medical centers. In these deals, oftentimes the news only includes perspectives from that sponsoring hospital. Now, in the first instance I’m aware of, the trend has come to newspapers. The HometownAnnapolis.com website of The Capital newspaper yesterday announced: Partnership should […]


The nasty bloodsucking bedbug epidemic

If you survived the last TV ratings period and DIDN’T see a story about the horrible epidemic of bedbugs right in your town – maybe right in your own bed – then just stay tuned until the next sweeps period. David Segal of the Washington Post was on NPR’s “On the Media??? program talking about […]


More on news organizations promoting unnecessary testing

A physician who teaches evidence-based medicine, and who is also a freelance health journalist, has been reading my thoughts about journalists advocating screening tests in the absence of evidence. She wrote me: “Here’s one of the more annoying recent examples, one that I actually used in class to illustrate the issue of patients coming in […]


Here we go again – another industry-funded Sleep Awareness Week

Don’t let the special interest campaign catch you napping! Dozens upon dozens of stories about Americans lacking sleep are popping up from news organizations all over the country this week, driven by another of the National Sleep Awareness Week campaigns of the National Sleep Foundation. Few – if any – of these stories will tell […]


Is This Test Really Necessary?

The Star Tribune newspaper finally – 10 days after I submitted it – published my op-ed piece countering a feature story entitled, How To Be A Screen Queen. I give the paper credit for publishing my response, although they edited my submission and did not share with me in advance what the final published version […]


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