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.

Another news story about the limitations of some studies

Yesterday we profiled a Wall Street Journal column about the statistical flaws in some studies. Today we point out a Los Angeles Times column that gives readers a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of epidemiologic studies. Excerpts: “(Critics say that) far too many of these epidemiological studies — in which the habits and […]


20/20 lacks vision on Stossel health care special

Just watched John Stossel’s special, “Whose Body Is It Anyway? Sick in America,” on the ABC News 20/20 program. Wow. Simplistic. Superficial. Shallow. Superfluous. Just one example: he used laser eye surgery and cosmetic surgery as two examples of how the competitive marketplace can bring health care costs under control. No discussion of quality. No […]


Too Brief To Matter – Part Two: The Benefits/Harms of Briefs and Digests

We want to re-open a discussion we first started earlier this year in a note called “Too Brief To Matter” about the value of health news briefs, digests, “health headline” sections and the like. In the 17 months that we’ve been reviewing stories from about 60 major U.S. news organizations, we have given our top […]


Reporters not asking right questions on health care reform

Johns Hopkins University president William Brody, in a speech at the National Press Club on Friday, said journalists are not asking presidential candidates the right questions about health care reform. “If you’re only reporting cost and coverage issues, you‘re missing a big part of the story,â€? Brody said. Brody said that almost no one — […]


British M.D.-journalist slams journalists for conflicts of interest

Ben Goldacre, in this week’s BMJ writes: I was surprised last week by an email circular I received from a science writers’ mailing list. It was from the Aspirin Foundation, a group funded by the drug industry, and it was offering—on behalf of Bayer Healthcare—to pay expenses for journalists to attend the European Society of […]

8/20/2007 a finalist for a FREDDIE award

We’ve been notified that has been judged to be a finalist in the category of Web Sites in the 2007 International Health & Medical Media Awards. All category winners will be named by September 17. is now 15 months old, has reviewed more than 400 stories, and has already won a Knight-Batten Award […]


Tough questions missing on robot story

The Star Tribune offered a business section feature yesterday on local doctors finding new uses for the $1.2 million Da Vinci robotic surgery devices. At $1.2 million, you bet they want to and need to find new uses. The story explained that the robotic device came on the market just 8 years ago, that Minnesota […]


Under the influence of drug marketing

The Los Angeles Times last week published a series of articles on drug marketing. Excerpts: “In a nation that consumed $279-billion worth of prescription medications in 2006 – spending 80% of that on brand name drugs – their efforts appear to be paying off. Americans filling a prescription choose brand-name products 37% of the time, […]


Radio appearance

Minnesota Public Radio invited me as guest on their “Midmorning” program today to talk about the state of health care journalism. You can hear the clip at: Player required to download and listen)

2 7/26/2007

Do you trust CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta?

The political newsletter CounterPunch, the Chicago Tribune and some of its readers weigh in on the question: “Do you trust CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta?”


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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