Note to our followers: Our nearly 13-year run of daily publication of new content on HealthNewsReview.org came to a close at the end of 2018. Publisher Gary Schwitzer and other contributors may post new articles periodically. But all of the 6,000+ articles we have published contain lessons to help you improve your critical thinking about health care interventions. And those will be still be alive on the site for a couple of years.
2 12/20/2018

A final HealthNewsReview.org report card from 3,200+ systematic reviews of health care news stories & PR releases

In 2005, as I began building HealthNewsReview.org, I got permission from Dr. David Henry of the Media Doctor Australia project to adopt their news story review criteria. In the ensuing 13 years, no one has ever placed in front of me a solid, specific suggestion for a better set of criteria for reviewing stories about […]

12/19/2018

For both health care and health care journalism, there’s something missing in the middle

In 2015, a few months before I started working at HealthNewsReview.org, Cosmopolitan magazine published my article, “Why are so many American women dying in childbirth?” Tired of women getting blamed for the problem, I used my personal story to explore the fissures in U.S. maternal health care: At the hospital where I gave birth, and […]

1 12/18/2018

6 reasons journalists should just say no to Mayo Clinic’s latest journalism ‘residency’ program

Craving a trip to Florida in February? If you’re a journalist, the Mayo Clinic has you covered. Once again Mayo is extending an offer to educate health care journalists, this time with what it’s calling a “residency” scheduled for Feb. 24-28 at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla. It’s described as “a behind-the-scenes, in-depth look […]

8 12/17/2018

Reflections on a 45-year career and 13 years leading HealthNewsReview.org

In this, our final week of daily publishing as we wind down operations due to a loss of sufficient funding, I want to share some observations after a 45-year career in health care journalism, 13 of which were the pinnacle for me as Publisher of this website. Earlier this year, after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “surprise” primary election […]

1 12/14/2018

5-Star Friday: The obvious and the obscure

The 5-star writing we feature below highlights an interesting contrast: the obvious and the obscure. On the one hand, I’m guessing it’s fairly obvious to many of us that some physicians have ties to industry money; but on the other hand, is it widely known that some doctors and medical journals are blatantly refusing to […]

12/13/2018

The Little Prince makes an informed health decision

I read a lot of health news, as part of my daily search of eligible news stories for our team to review. So much so that I notice health claims in all kinds of unusual places. Even in fiction. My book club recently read “The Little Prince,” the classic story written by French pilot Antoine de […]

12/12/2018

Headline vs. study: Predicting, preventing and other clickbait

Predicting and preventing. These are powerful words that hold strong appeal for most of us, especially when it comes to our health. But the reality is this: There are very few diseases that can be predicted and prevented. Try to name just one and you’ll see that it’s rarely, if ever, possible. And yet we […]

2 12/11/2018

5 categories of quality web content for you to explore when we cease daily publication

Many of you have asked by email or on Twitter, “Where do we turn for help after you go away?” First, we’re not disappearing on January 1, 2019, and the site won’t go dark.  I’ll keep it alive for at least three years. And I hope to add new content periodically by hiring freelancers or writing […]

12/6/2018

We have everything to fear, including fear itself

In 1997 Frank Furedi — an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent — wrote a critically acclaimed book entitled, “How Fear Works: Culture of Fear in the 21st Century.” In that book he tells the story of the public reaction to a magazine cover portraying a little girl fishing with her father. […]

12/5/2018

Holy grail cancer test? Hold on. Here’s what you need to know

Australian researchers at the University of Queensland reported that “a quick and easy test to detect cancer from blood or biopsy tissue could eventually result in a new approach to patient diagnosis.” A news release quoted one of the researchers: “We certainly don’t know yet whether it’s the holy grail for all cancer diagnostics.” He also […]

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