Health News Review
  • Nov 24 2014

    “Health care consumers in the dark” – no kidding

    That headline appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune print edition yesterday. The focus of the article was how difficult it is to obtain medical cost data despite a state law and other efforts to increase transparency. The same newspaper had a brief column the previous day about open enrollment season for workplace medical benefits, but [...]

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  • Nov 21 2014

    More NBC TODAY Show men have more body parts probed during TV sweeps month

    Last November, it was Matt Lauer and Al Roker having their prostates probed on live TV via digital rectal exam. This November TV sweeps period – today to be precise – Willie Geist and Carson Daly had their testicles probed live on the air. The common denominator:  the prober was telegenic, media magnet Dr. David [...]

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  • Nov 20 2014

    Hockey fans treated to more than slap shot; how about prostate exam?

    Milwaukee media loved this Movember promotion. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported: Milwaukee Admirals vice president of sales and marketing Mike Wojciechowski will undergo a prostate examination at Saturday night’s match against the Rockford Ice Hogs to raise awareness of men’s health issues…. The team is holding promotions during November to help raise money for the [...]

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  • Nov 19 2014

    Inadvertent disease-mongering of diabetes puts media innumeracy on display

    In another of the occasional Hypewatch features on MedPage Today, Kristina Fiore writes, “Hypewatch: 100 Million Diabetic Americans in the Dark?” A third of Americans have diabetes but don’t know it? That’s almost as hard to believe as the IOM’s conclusion that a third of Americans live with severe chronic pain. The diabetes figure is [...]

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  • Nov 19 2014

    Evaluating evidence in media messages about breast cancer

    The National Breast Cancer Coalition asked me to deliver a presentation at its Project LEAD® workshop in Washington, DC, on November 16. Project LEAD® is designed for NBCC members who want “an introductory education in the science of breast cancer, research design, advocacy and understanding medical news in the media.” My slides appear below.   [...]

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  • Nov 18 2014

    IMPROVE-IT heart drug trial news: Game-changer? Or balderdash?

    Lub-dub…lub-dub…. The drumbeat of heart news coming out of the American Heart Association is loud and clear.  But some who read and listen closely are seeing and hearing arrhythmias – disturbances in the signal. The New York Times reported: For the first time since statins have been regularly used, a large study has found that [...]

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  • 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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