Health News Review
  • 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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  • Jul 10 2014

    The BBC interviews two of my favorites on risk literacy & shared decision making

    Two of my favorite health care thinkers appeared – together – in recent BBC magazine and radio interviews:  Gerd Gigerenzer and Glyn Elwyn. The BBC magazine story, “Do doctors understand test results?” is worth a look. The two also appeared on the BBC radio Health Check program. There’s nothing really new in the magazine feature, [...]

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  • Apr 3 2014

    Nuanced balance is not easily communicated on latest mammography study

    “A Systematic Assessment of Benefits and Risks to Guide Breast Cancer Screening Decisions” was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week. It reached a conclusion that you might think few could disagree with – although on this topic one should never underestimate the potential for disagreement.  The authors wrote: “Mammography screening [...]

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  • Apr 2 2014

    Honored to be named “champion of shared decision making”

    The Informed Medical Decisions Foundation has named 25 Shared Decision Making Champions, and I’m honored to be one of them. The Foundation wrote: Throughout the 25 years of the Foundation’s history, we have been fortunate to work with, and along side, many noteworthy individuals to advance shared decision making. While we can’t recognize every single [...]

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  • Mar 6 2014

    Why the Scandinavian prostate cancer study doesn’t translate to the U.S.

    Lots of news coverage about a Scandinavian prostate cancer study.  Here’s a guest post on the study from Richard M. Hoffman, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and Staff Physician in the New Mexico VA Health Care System.  He has done story reviews and written blog posts [...]

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  • Feb 7 2014

    New cholesterol guidelines present need for shared decision-making

    Dr. Victor Montori and two Mayo Clinic colleagues published a perspective piece in JAMA this week, “Patient-Centered and Practical Application of New High Cholesterol Guidelines to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease.” In it, they discuss the new American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines for assessing cardiovascular disease and for treatment of blood cholesterol to reduce [...]

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  • Feb 5 2014

    When your doctor recommends a test: another “Less is More” example

    A thoughtful perspective piece in JAMA Internal Medicine‘s “Less is More” series is entitled, “A Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry Scan:  Need to Know vs. Nice to Know.” The DXA scan is a test looking for signs of osteoporosis. The piece is written by a woman physician who had turned 50 and was now facing a recommendation [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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  • Dec 12 2013

    The unvarying story of health care variations – Dartmouth Atlas on children’s care

    Jack Wennberg made his mark by documenting health care variations in the way certain services were utilized – even in adjacent communities in New England. One of the early signs that caught his attention was when his own kids were of the tonsillectomy age. He found, as Reuters recalls, “that rates of tonsillectomy are 60 [...]

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  • Oct 15 2013

    Reflecting on one little paper in Science 40 years ago – Jack Wennberg’s legacy

    This week, Dartmouth celebrated the publication of a paper 40 years ago that it seemed no one wanted to publish. It was Jack Wennberg’s Science magazine paper, “Small Area Variations in Health Care Delivery.” In the Los Angeles Times today, Dartmouth’s Gil Welch writes: “Similar populations living in different regions of the United States get [...]

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