Health News Review
  • Feb 20 2014

    “Medical Matters” program debuts on Public Radio Tulsa

    I’m pleased to be part of a radio series on Public Radio Tulsa for at least the next four weeks.  It’s called “Medical Matters,” hosted by Dr. John Schumann. The series debuts today. Each week, he’ll ask me to review 3 or 4 health care stories that caught my eye. You can listen by clicking on the longer “Listen” link on this page. ————————- Tweet Follow …

  • 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…

  • Jul 17 2012

    Cocoa as Sunscreen? PR Firm Shamelessly Hypes Tiny Study

    …———– With the summer beach season in full swing, it’s time to starting thinking about ways to reduce your exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Thankfully, the folks at Draznin Public Relations are ready to educate you about an important new strategy for protecting your skin from sun damage: Eat more cocoa! In a recent press release, Draznin offered to clue me in to the findings of a “standout” trial that…

  • 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…

  • 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.     …

  • 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…

  • Jan 20 2010

    Kaiser Health News: Why public support for health care reform faltered

    A team of reporters from KHN delivers this thoughtful piece. Excerpts: “There’s nothing in (the proposals) the average person could understand about why your costs would be lower,” says Robert Blendon, professor of health policy at Harvard’s School of Public Health. “They don’t even have good illustrations about how it would be cheaper. They did not find a way to save money for people with job-based insuran…

  • Mar 28 2012

    A role model for Public Information Officers: best wishes, Earle Holland

    …ends to conflict with those who wish to emphasize only message points and slogans. While there is certainly a place in the world for persuasive communications, I’ve always thought that it was a questionable approach for public institutions telling the research story. The fact that I could maintain that stance for this long is admittedly remarkable. In the 33 years at OSU, I have reported on the great work of hundreds of geniuses, taught sci…

  • 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 …

  • Feb 23 2011

    Minnesota Public Radio applies truth squad to former Gov’s health care claims

    Minnesota Public Radio’s Lorna Benson recently reported: “As he prepares for a possible run for the presidency, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been touting the success of Minnesota’s home-grown health reforms during his national book tour. Pawlenty, a Republican, said the state has designed a good blueprint for reining in costs that the rest of the nation should follow. While it’s true that Minnesota has been experimentin…




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