Note to our followers: Our nearly 13-year run of daily publication of new content on 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.

ABC proclaims a miracle

Journalistic hype of health news never stops. The latest: ABC News last week called the drug Dimebon a “miracle drug” for Alzheimer’s Disease on its website. It was tested in about 100 people. It was only tested against placebo, not head-to-head with any other existing Alzheimer’s treatment. ABC News didn’t interview the principal investigator in […]


How a headline can ruin a health/science story

Recently a physician friend brought the following to my attention. The same story, written by the same person, but appearing under two very different headlines. Here’s the original New York Times headline: The story stated at one point: “No one knows whether vaccinations had anything to do with the girls’ health problems, and the scientific […]


More than 600 stories reviewed on

In case you don’t visit the site often, I wanted to let you know about a new Publisher’s Note just published there. It reads: Our database of stories reviewed now numbers more than 600. 113 of the stories were by the Associated Press, which feeds most newsrooms. We’ve reviewed 38 stories by the Los […]


We're #5! We're #5!

OK, we’re not #1. But we’re a busy little blog, as shown by the fact that this blog has just become the 5th most active blog out of 6,336 blogs with 15,465 authors hosted on the University of Minnesota Libraries. What we rank 5th in is in the number of entries. Since September 2004, I’ve […]


Disease-mongering by Russert pundits

There has been a lot of speculation about what happened to and what could have saved Tim Russert. Some, like a Wall Street Journal piece, “A Visceral Fear: Unexpected Heart Attacks,” bordered on disease-mongering. That story discussed: “…experts who think wider use of coronary calcium CT scans could help spot more people at risk of […]


Tracking conflict of interest news coverage

From time to time, I’ve highlighted how the Integrity in Science Watch project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest tracks news coverage (or lack thereof) of conflicts of interest in medicine and science. This week’s offering: • Cheer to Andrew Pollack of the New York Times for disclosing that Eric L. Matteson, […]


NY Daily News unhealthy Father's Day prostate promo

Add the New York Daily News to my list of news organizations taking an unhealthy advocacy stance for screening tests. A promotion in the paper screams out, “Get your free prostate cancer screening, courtesy of the Daily News”: Beginning on Father’s Day, New York’s hometown newspaper offers these free tests every year, because we believe […]


News coverage about my health news coverage journal article

Almost no mainstream news organizations reported on my paper, “How do US journalists cover treatments, tests, products and procedures? An evaluation of 500 stories,” in last week’s PLoS Medicine journal. That’s probably not surprising. Why would you publish a story about an analysis that showed that you and your industry did a sub-par job in […]


Connecting the dots in health care reform news

As we flip the calendar over from a very busy May into a sunny June, I want to reflect on the common themes in the blog entries of the past four days: 1. My PLoS Medicine article, “How Do US Journalists Cover Treatments, Tests, Products and Procedures? An Evaluation of 500 Stories.â€? 2. The Commonwealth […]

2 5/27/2008

The “kid in the candy store” picture of US health care

The following Publisher’s Note has been posted on We often benefit from some of the best health care journalism the world has ever seen. It’s investigative, in-depth, analytical, creative, gutsy, important and helpful. It raises questions about health policy and health care reform, about conflicts of interest in medical research, and about the way […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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