Association of Health Care Journalists publishes guide I wrote on "Covering Medical Research"

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The leading professional organization of health care journalists has just released the latest in its series of “slim guides” – this one written by me with a great deal of help from Ivan Oransky.

Covering Medical Research: A Guide For Reporting on Studies” is intended primarily for journalists who are new to the beat or for those who have not received training in reporting on the complexities and nuances of evidence-based health care reporting.

Covering-Med-Research-350.gifThe AHCJ statement reads, in part:

“It offers advice on recognizing and reporting the problems, limitations and backstory of a study, as well as publication biases in medical journals and it includes 10 questions you should answer to produce a meaningful and appropriately skeptical report. We hope this guide, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will be a road map to help you do a better job of explaining research results for your audience.

Chapters deal with the hierarchy of evidence, putting types of research into context, scrutinizing the quality of evidence, phases of clinical trials, explaining risk, embargoes, pitfalls of news from scientific meetings, criteria for judging your story and more. The guide links to online resources throughout.”

More about this in days and weeks to come.

We hope it will be a good source that will help many journalists.

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Comments (6)

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Barb Chamberlain

September 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm

It appears that this can only be purchased as a member of AHCJ and that people who work in media relations (pitching stories to journalists) are not eligible for membership. It sounds like a very useful resource for those of us who work with medical/health sciences researchers and have to explain their work to journalists.
That may be a problem on their website, but when I try to click on the book to purchase it I’m asked for a member log-in. There’s a reference to purchasing it through Amazon but it doesn’t turn up in a direct search at
Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Washington State University Spokane

Gary Schwitzer

September 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Thanks for your interest. I agree completely that people like you in positions of communications & public affairs could benefit from this guide.
Please understand that while I wrote it, I don’t own it.
You should approach the leadership of AHCJ about acquiring it.
Gary Schwitzer
Just the author
Not the distributor

Adriane Fugh-Berman MD

September 6, 2010 at 10:41 pm

AHCJ needs to make Gary’s guide available! Write to
Len Bruzzese