Health News Review
  • Aug 6 2005

    Can’t mix news and PR jobs

    This is becoming a recurring theme: journalists working in news rooms while also doing paid public relations work. A Minneapolis-St. Paul TV anchor did it. A Nashville TV reporter did it. (Although she called me yesterday to explain that she’s not doing it anymore.) And now Detroit Medical Center announced that it has named a former WDIV-TV anchorman to be its communication director, “providing guidance on media issues and ser…

  • Oct 22 2013

    When doctors don’t discuss harms of screening tests with patients

    …papers in journals that overestimate the effectiveness of screening.  And so communication with patients suffers. And, as we consistently point out, many media messages – in journalism, advertising, marketing and public relations – lead to even worse public understanding. Here’s a Reuters Health story on the paper – one of the only mainstream news stories we saw on it. Here are some things we’ve published in the past…

  • Jul 10 2013

    Some skeptical views of NYT front page “race for cholesterol drug” story

    … developers’ mouths, we should be skeptical anyway.  So why the front page story? “This is our top priority,” said Dr. Andrew Plump, the head of translational medicine at Sanofi. “Nothing else we are doing has the same public health impact.” What public health impact?  The drugs have had no public health impact yet.  “Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, the director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, estimates that even if the drugs …

  • Nov 4 2013

    The Economics & Politics of Drugs for Mild Hypertension

    …#8220;I think that the entire conclusion of this analysis is flawed. It really has no clinical importance, [and] it should not be adopted by any practicing physician.” It should be noted that Dr. White has had financial relationships with 15 drug companies that make blood pressure lowering medications, topping the eight of Dr. Oparil. Cochrane is an elite journal in evidence-based medicine, and the review of drugs for mild hypertension had …

  • Jan 2 2013

    Columbia Journalism Review cover story on health journalism that “grossly mislead(s) the public”

    …shed scientific findings.But personal-health journalists have fallen into a trap. Even while following what are considered the guidelines of good science reporting, they still manage to write articles that grossly mislead the public, often in ways that can lead to poor health decisions with catastrophic consequences. Blame a combination of the special nature of health advice, serious challenges in medical research, and the failure of science jour…

  • Aug 30 2010

    Story of Medtronic’s Infuse product – from revolutionary advance to public health alert

    …tion for Informed Medical Decision Making in Boston in May. John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel hammers one of these issues, looking at how Medtronic’s Infuse product “went from revolutionary advance to public health alert.” Here’s his story on MedPageToday.com. His entire “Side Effects: Money, Medicine and Patients” series is indexed on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel website. The image below is fr…

  • Oct 3 2013

    Medical ethics case study: Speculating on Public Figure’s Mental Health

    Dr. John Henning Schumann writes on the AMA’s Virtual Mentor Journal of Ethics website, “Speculating on a Public Figure’s Mental Health.” Schumann, who is dabbling in radio himself these days, focuses on a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine who was interviewed on the radio about her theories about what happened when a 16-year-old tenth grader went to school with a gun, killed two classmates, and injured seve…

  • Jun 26 2014

    Questioning some of the ways in which new drug treatments are reported to the public

    …ders that.” The suggestions he makes are some of the same we’ve made over the past 8 years of reviewing thousands of health care news stories.  It’s nice to hear another voice regularly trying to improve the public dialogue. ——————— Tweet Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/garyschwitzer https://twitter.com/healthnewsrevu and on Facebook.     …

  • Jul 25 2009

    Copycat stories on pressing public health problem – cankles? OMG!

    So the Wall Street Journal publishes a story on “cankles” – chubby lower legs. Well of course that’s too much for morning TV shows to resist copying. So ABC’s Good Morning America airs a segment in which they at least acknowledge they’re simply copying the WSJ. The CBS Early Show had to join in the discussion of this vitally important public health concern as well. But both the ABC and CBS segments featu…

  • Jul 20 2011

    Australian author: increasing public awareness about ovarian CA can have downside

    …until an advanced stage of the disease. Against this backdrop, a National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre survey has shown that one in five women can’t name one symptom of ovarian cancer. This has formed the basis of a public health campaign to raise awareness of the cancer and its associated symptoms. The trouble is that the symptoms that may signal an underlying cancer are vague, non-specific and, as our study has found, extremely common…




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