Health News Review
  • Nov 12 2014

    A 15-year retrospective on a shared decision-making encounter, a lawsuit, and not winning

    I didn’t see any news coverage of Dr. Dan Merenstein’s article in JAMA Internal Medicine last week, “PSA Screening — I Finally Won!” Maybe there was some reporting but I missed it. But if there wasn’t any news coverage, maybe that’s understandable.  It was “just” a perspective piece.  It’s based on old news – a [...]

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  • Oct 10 2014

    Thanks to American Medical Writers Association for recognizing our work

    At its annual conference in Memphis this week, the American Medical Writers Association presented me with the John P. McGovern Award for preeminent contributions to medical communication. Here are the slides of my award lecture to a terrific turnout of more than 600 people. McGovern Award Lecture – American Medical Writers Association from Gary Schwitzer [...]

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  • Oct 2 2014

    More conflicted, imbalanced prostate information from FOX News

    Conflicted and imbalanced because they let Dr. David Samadi, who runs a robotic surgery center in New York, be the unchallenged expert about “raising awareness for prostate cancer.”  In fact, they let the self-promotional Samadi get away with promoting the #SamadiChallenge – which, if you use that on Twitter, will eat up 16 of your [...]

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  • Oct 1 2014

    My article kicks off 5th Annual Health Literacy Month Blog Series

    For the third consecutive year, I’ve contributed to the Health Literacy Month Blog Series.  Today, my article, “Media Messages about Screenings and their Role in Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment,” kicks off the 5th annual month-long blog series. Below is a copy of what I wrote: ——————————— Disclaimer: the following is not an anti-screening message. It is, however, [...]

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  • Sep 26 2014

    Flawed news about skirt size-breast cancer observational study

    The paper in the journal BMJ Open was entitled, “Association of skirt size and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in older women.”  Association, not causation.  That, alone, should have been a clue to journalists. If they missed that, certainly they’d follow the news release from the journal, right? That news release got it right: “Going up [...]

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  • Sep 23 2014

    Proton beam: should a news organization “partner” with providers to promote in the face of intense debate?

    On the same day that the Mayo Clinic co-hosted a Twitter chat about “The Role of Proton Beam Therapy in Cancer Care”….. ……Kaiser Health News published a story, “Insurers Hesitant To Cover Many Proton Beam Therapy Treatments.” Included in that story was the news that: “some insurers and disease experts say that, until there’s better [...]

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  • Sep 23 2014

    L’Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco publishes nice plug for HealthNewsReview.org

    L’Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco – Italy’s national drug regulatory agency – published a profile of our work on their website.   The web article was entitled, “Come leggere criticamente le notizie sulla salute: l’esperienza di HealthNewsReview.org” – or – “How to critically read the news about health: the experience of HealthNewsReview.org.” The article is a [...]

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  • Sep 22 2014

    Two headlines for same stem cell story: halting progress? Or patients dancing?

    Last week, I read with interest a New York Times piece headlined, “The Trials of Stem Cell Therapy,” with the subhead:  “Stem Cells: Plenty of Hope, but Halting Progress.”  I thought that was an appropriately cautious introduction to this issue, which has received so much hype. “Halting” is defined as: marked by a lack of [...]

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  • Sep 22 2014

    Duluth newspaper tackles commercial screening test questions

    John Lundy of the Duluth News Tribune reports, “Wellness screening offers draw complaints.”  The story was apparently motivated by one Duluth resident’s complaint about a piece of direct mail she received from the LifeLine Screening company – the kind of mail many Americans get in the company’s carpet-bombing direct mail campaigns.  The story begins: “Sue [...]

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  • Sep 16 2014

    Evidence/balance lacking in Philly story on “Don’t Fear The Finger” campaign

    The Philadelphia Inquirer published a story, “Prostate cancer activists launch ‘the finger’ campaign to stem decline in testing.“  It begins: Kristine Warner wanted an eye-catching way to encourage men to talk to their doctors about the complicated, controversial subject of prostate cancer screening. Don’t Fear The Finger campaign was born. Go ahead and snicker. It [...]

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