Health News Review
  • Mar 5 2013

    Two new books by physicians to put on your reading list

    “Between the Lines:  Finding the Truth in Medical Literature,” by Marya Zilberberg, MD, MPH….and “The Patient Paradox: Why sexed-up medicine is bad for your health,” by Margaret McCartney, MD, are two books to add your reading list. I’ve written several times about smart blog posts by Zilberberg, an adjunct professor of epidemiology at U-Mass Amherst.  [...]

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  • Feb 4 2013

    Sound Medicine radio program profiles work of

    This public radio program in Indiana interviewed me in response to the paper by John Ioannidis and colleagues in JAMA, “Empirical Evaluation of Very Large Treatment Effects of Medical Interventions.” You can listen to the 12-minute segment online. A few of the points I tried to make: Oftentimes, if it sounds too good to be [...]

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  • Jan 11 2013

    Yale’s Harlan Krumholz: 5 Things You Should Know On The Myth Of Tamiflu

    Have you ever tried having a discussion of the evidence for Tamiflu with your doctor? (A physician-reader of our work has reminded me to use generic names whenever possible.  The generic name for Tamiflu is oseltamivir.) Is this one of the top medical marketing success stories after, say, Lamisil (terbinafine) for toenail fungus? On, [...]

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  • Jan 4 2013

    How ugly Twitter can get on health/screening issues

    It started when somebody wrote a book review of the book by Dr. Otis Brawley, Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, “How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick In America.”  In it, the reviewer wrote: “Brawley isn’t an asshole, but he is a loudmouth, in the best possible sense. [...]

  • Jan 2 2013

    Be Careful in Reporting On Composite Outcomes

    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.  This post will also [...]

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  • Dec 20 2012

    Oregon: Just saying “No” to expensive proton beam therapy (for now, at least)

    The Oregonian reports something you don’t hear very often these days – a medical center saying “NO” – at least for now – to the medical arms race. And by dropping their plans to acquire a proton beam therapy facility, they said “NO” in a big way.   The Oregonian reports: In recent years, large medical [...]

  • Dec 13 2012

    Other views on the NYT op-ed, “The 2,000 Year-Old Wonder Drug”

    Dr. David Agus, tireless promoter of his book, “The End of Illness,” and whose involvement in an ABC news story about a reporter’s coronary calcium CT scan led to the network correcting/retracting the piece, is now at it again. The New York Times published his op-ed piece, “The 2,000-Year-Old Wonder Drug,” the start of which [...]

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  • Dec 7 2012

    My talk to Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT’s Medical Evidence Bootcamp for Journalists

    For what I believe was the fourth time in the past five years, Phil Hilts of the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT asked me to speak to their Medical Evidence Boot Camp.  It happened this week in Cambridge. I was honored and delighted to be on the same program with Drs. Steven Woloshin and [...]

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  • Dec 6 2012

    Incomplete MPR reporting on Mayo prostate cancer scan

    I’m a big fan of Minnesota Public Radio and usually a big fan of their health care news coverage. They’ve done some bold and innovative coverage in recent years. But when I heard (on the radio) and saw (online) MPR’s story, “Prostate cancer scan advance helps Mayo doctors with early detection,” I saw some red [...]

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  • Dec 3 2012

    Critic calls American Psychiatric Assoc. approval of DSM-V “a sad day for psychiatry”

    Dr. Allen Frances writes that the American Psychiatric Association approval of the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual this past weekend marks “a sad day for psychiatry.“  Frances, psychiatry professor emeritus at Duke, chaired the DSM-4 task force. He lists the top ten changes that he says should be ignored: “I would suggest [...]