Health News Review
  • Dec 7 2013

    Gary talks about health care media messages on Garage Logic radio show

    In the past month, I spoke on media ethics to undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism, spoke to physicians and researchers at the Mayo Clinic, spoke to journalists at the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships at MIT’s Medical Evidence Boot Camp, and then spoke to the KSTP-TV newsroom staff in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. [...]

  • Dec 6 2013

    Robotic surgery recall prompts “dear reporter” message from ex-hospital CEO

    Paul Levy, former medical center CEO, blogs, “Dear health care reporters: Look this way.” He points to Bloomberg’s continued coverage of questions about robotic surgery systems, including this week’s news about “an urgent recall” because of systems stalling during operations. And his note to reporters: “…the recall affects 1,386 of the systems worldwide.  You’d think [...]

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  • Dec 4 2013

    Seth Mnookin says Katie Couric is fear-mongering on HPV vaccine

    Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus, and blogging under that same title, writes, “Katie Couric promotes dangerous fear mongering with show on the HPV vaccine.” Excerpt: On July 10, 2012, I received an email from a producer at Katie, Katie Couric’s daytime talk show, about a show the program was planning on vaccines. Here was [...]

  • Nov 23 2013

    My interview on CBC Radio regarding network TV prostate/breast CA screenings

    The CBC Radio program, “White Coat, Black Art with Dr. Brian Goldman,” asked me to join them this week to discuss some issues surrounding journalists promoting cancer screening tests on network television. Out of a 30 minute program, the segment with my interview appears between 10:22 and 20:30.  Note:  The audio begins automatically.  I don’t [...]

  • Nov 22 2013

    Local TV sweeps piece about

    I never would have expected to see a local television sweeps period news story about our work on, but that ‘s what happened when KSTP-TV – the ABC television station in Minneapolis-Saint Paul – aired a piece, “Health Studies: Fact or False Hope” last night. At the very end of the piece, you’ll hear [...]

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  • Nov 20 2013

    Miracle medicine? Or caution, controversy, questionable methodology?

    I know what it’s like for patients to tune in when they hear news stories about a condition they have. I have a form of spinal arthritis known as ankylosing spondylitis (AS).  So when The Globe and Mail newspaper published a story referring to “a miracle medicine” for AS, I perked up. Hmmm, I thought.  [...]

  • Nov 18 2013

    Roundup of recent gems to start the week

    Items from our weekly email digest mailing (which you can sign up for here.) The recent NBC prostate cancer screening promotion featuring Matt Lauer and Al Roker of the Today Show getting digital rectal exams was ridiculed by a parody on The Colbert Report.  As Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert often do, this segment educated [...]

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  • Nov 12 2013

    There’s another side to the Amy Robach breast cancer story

    First, I sincerely wish ABC’s Amy Robach good health and good outcomes after she chose to have a mammogram on the air and, after it showed that she had cancer, further chose to have bilateral mastectomy surgery. These are difficult choices and difficult times for her. But almost every single one of the hundreds of [...]

  • Nov 11 2013

    Hope? Perhaps. But tough questions not asked/answered by CNN on islet cell transplants

    One of our readers who has Type I diabetes wrote to me about a story on last week – about islet cell transplantation offering “hope for Type 1 diabetes.” Indeed, such transplants do offer some hope to some people. But our interested reader asked why there was no discussion of: cost? side effects of [...]

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  • Nov 10 2013

    NBC races the clock in a race to the bottom with anchormen & prostate cancer screening promotion

    It was not the peacock’s finest hour. Or even their finest 34 seconds. Last week, NBC Today show anchors Matt Lauer and Al Roker had digital rectal exams (out of view, behind closed doors) on live TV.  Lauer and the network announced that “The live event is part of No-Shave November, TODAY’s initiative to raise [...]