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

Alcohol & breast cancer stories worthy of lining the bird cage

I should have mentioned Sandy Szwarc’s blog, Junkfood Science, long ago. I am impressed by the depth and thoroughness of her analysis. This week she jumped all over news coverage of a study linking alcohol intake to breast cancer. You should read the entire post, but it begins: Does a single drink a day really […]


60 Minutes piece on Kanzius cancer cure not worth 60 seconds

One of the worst stories by a major news organization on a health care topic was turned in by CBS’ 60 Minutes last Sunday with a piece it entitled on its website, “The Kanzius Machine: A Cancer Cure?” The story was reviewed on and given one of the lowest ratings possible. The review summary […]


Disease mongering by Women’s Health magazine

Add Women’s Health magazine to my list of publications guilty of disease-mongering by advocating tests that are not supported by evidence – recommendations that run counter to those of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The article, “THE MEDICAL TESTS YOU SHOULD TAKE: Head-to-Toe Tune-Up” is not unlike those I’ve criticized on CNN, in the […]


We should expect better from a medical journal

I’ve reported many times on news organizations hyping medical technologies. But this past week, a medical journal – BMJ – did the same thing in its “news” section, presenting only the fantastic potential of robotic surgery without any evidence – any quantification – of potential benefits and harms and without any discussion of costs. The […]


Stop running scared

Shannon Brownlee on disease-mongering.


WSJ Health Blog's March Madness drug company CEO brackets

At a conference yesterday, Scott Hensley of the Wall Street Journal Health blog showed off a story I had missed. Since it’s the last day of March and basketball’s Final Four is now set, the time is just right to look at it. See the Journal’s “Our March Madness: The Drug Company CEO Bracketâ€?. They […]


Happy 10th Birthday to Assoc. of Health Care Journalists

The Association of Health Care Journalists is celebrating its 10th birthday. AHCJ has become a leader in quality improvement in health journalism – and a leader in the entire journalism industry. That effort – and many others – like our University of Minnesota health journalism MA program – are striving to improve the flow of […]


March madness in medical news on network TV

Reviews of network TV health news stories on so far in March would suggest it’s more like Halloween season than Easter. The stories have been so bad, it’s scary. Examples & excerpts: Medical breakthrough? New procedure fights tumorsABC’s Good Morning AmericaMarch 18, 2008Rating: 1 star Excerpt of our summary: “This short story presents little […]


Newspaper lets hospital buy news coverage

I’ve blogged in the past about TV news operations accepting sponsored news deals with local medical centers. In these deals, oftentimes the news only includes perspectives from that sponsoring hospital. Now, in the first instance I’m aware of, the trend has come to newspapers. The website of The Capital newspaper yesterday announced: Partnership should […]


The nasty bloodsucking bedbug epidemic

If you survived the last TV ratings period and DIDN’T see a story about the horrible epidemic of bedbugs right in your town – maybe right in your own bed – then just stay tuned until the next sweeps period. David Segal of the Washington Post was on NPR’s “On the Media??? program talking about […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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