Toolkit for journalists and consumers

Looking for help?

We’ve assembled a number of tipsheets, primers, links and other resources to help journalists and consumers evaluate claims about health care interventions.

Journalists: Also see our just for journalists section.


medical-research-tipsheetsTips for understanding research and studies

Number needed to treat. Relative risk vs absolute risk. Observational studies. We dive into these concepts and more with our research-focused tipsheets.


Conflicts of interest in healthcare, academics, public relations and journalism

Who stands to gain what is always an important question to ask–whether you’re a journalist or a healthcare consumer. But as we’ve found, many financial relationships are obscured or not ever reported, so it can be very hard to answer that question.


A place to tell stories of patient harm from misleading media

This series explores the stories of patients who feel they were misled and harmed by news stories or other media dealing with health and medicine. We want to help prevent avoidable harm by helping people avoid avoidable ignorance. Read or listen to our stories, and then share your own.

Pre-publication news release review

For 20 months we offered a free service to public relations professionals. We would review and comment on drafts of their health care news releases prior to publication – in an attempt to help improve the quality.  However, we withdrew the offer in late November, 2018 because only a handful of public relations or public information officers had asked for help. 


podcast-vignetteThe Health News Watchdog podcast

In our 50 podcasts, our goal was to improve the public dialogue about health care. You’ll hear stories and interviews with people who are passionate about helping people get accurate, balanced, complete health care information so that they can make better decisions.


sources-docsResources for evaluating claims & analyzing news coverage

We’re not the only ones working hard to improve communication around medical research. These sites will provide added depth to your efforts to understand the science.



siteswelikeNews sites and blogs we like

We read these sites often to stay on top of some of the best news coverage on medical research and healthcare issues in general.




Just for journalists

stem cell -thumbnailWriting tips and case studies

This page includes primers for writing about complex medical topics, advice for common pitfalls healthcare journalists face, and in-depth case studies on how we cracked open several important medical stories in recent years.



A list of independent experts who can help with stories

Members of our list of independent experts state that they do not have financial ties to drug or medical device manufacturers.