Health News Review
  • Jan 22 2014

    Paul Levy says someone should be fired – and he suggests who – for NYT daVinci ad

    Former hospital CEO Paul Levy continues his relentless questioning about the proliferation and marketing of robotic surgery systems with a blog post entitled, “Time to fire somebody.” It’s about an ad in the Sunday New York Times magazine. The ad was placed by da Vinci Surgery (or Intuitive) – the robotic surgery system company. But [...]

    No Comments
  • Jan 21 2014

    Journalists have “systematic bias” to cover weaker studies

    A paper in PLoS One, “Media Coverage of Medical Journals: Do the Best Articles Make the News?” answers a resounding “No.” Excerpt: Media outlets must make choices when deciding which studies deserve public attention. We sought to examine if there exists a systematic bias favoring certain study design in the choice of articles covered in [...]

    No Comments
  • Jan 10 2014

    Mr. Balls, Senhor Testiculo, and a man named Cox

    In all the years I’ve written about promotions for various screening tests, I’ve seen some oddities. A porn star and the “Boob Bus Nurse Brigade” promoting mammography A fun-filled giant walk-through colon to promote colorectal cancer screening But those might pale in comparison with the various hairy testicle creatures roaming various regions of the earth. [...]

    1 Comment
  • Jan 9 2014

    Saying No to “Know Your Numbers” campaigns

    “Know Your Numbers” campaigns can serve a useful purpose. But they can also be guilty of non-evidence-based fear-mongering.  They can fuel obsessions with numbers that fully-informed people might just as soon not know anything about. There can be harm living our lives worrying about numbers, test results – making ourselves sick when we are, in [...]

    4 Comments
  • Jan 9 2014

    Newspaper cheerleading for local medical device company on page 1

    I’ve documented a track record in my local Star Tribune newspaper of cheerleading for local medical device companies.  This undoubtedly happens across the US in other local papers but I live in Minnesota and we have a lot of medical device companies here and this is what I see most often. And today the paper [...]

    No Comments
  • Jan 8 2014

    “Our screening sacred cows”

    On The Guardian’s website in the UK, Dr. Margaret McCartney makes a clear, compelling case for balance in public information about screening in a piece entitled, “Patients deserve the truth: health screening can do more harm than good.” And she charges that the British National Health Service “fails to inform patients that health screening often [...]

    1 Comment
  • Jan 7 2014

    The passing of TIME and of firewalls between editorial & business sides

    Andrew Sullivan called it “Journalism’s Surrender” on his blog. “The surrender of journalism to advertizing and public relations – not alliance with, but surrender to – was the biggest media story of 2013 that the media almost didn’t cover at all. But it’s right there in black and white, if buried on the slowest news [...]

    No Comments
  • Jan 7 2014

    Accidental bowel leakage and my morning coffee

    I’ve grown accustomed to nearly spitting out my coffee over many things in my morning paper. Still, an ad for an “accidental bowel leakage” product darn near had me spewing my French Roast Colombian all over the paper the other day. First, let me emphasize that I know there’s undoubtedly a need being served by [...]

    1 Comment
  • Jan 6 2014

    Survey finds few orthopedic surgeons know the costs of the devices they implant

    Any time an orthopedic surgeon goes into an operating room, there may be tens of thousands of dollars of devices under consideration for his/her use. Wouldn’t it be nice if that surgeon knew how much the stuff cost? A paper in Health Affairs, written by orthopedic surgeons, reports on a survey of 503 orthopedic attending [...]

    2 Comments
  • Jan 6 2014

    NBC vastly exaggerates the potential benefits of lung cancer screening

    The US Preventive Services Task Force recently released a new recommendation on screening for lung cancer. The USPSTF recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography in adults ages 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should [...]

    1 Comment