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.

The true harms of a false positive test

The London Daily Mail reports on a man diagnosed with cancer who was told he had less than a year to live. “The 62-year-old council worker quit his job, sold his car, stopped paying his mortgage and dug into his life savings so he could treat himself and relatives to expensive restaurant meals. He even […]


Medicare rejects depression device the media helped hype

Wish I had a nickel for every story about vagus nerve stimulation that trumpeted it as a treatment for depression. This week, Medicare rejected Cyberonics’ implantable nerve stimulator, saying the device, the VNS Therapy System, hasn’t been shown to be necessary. The $25,000 device is already approved for epilepsy. Cyberonics wanted to expand its use. […]


Lack of sustained coverage of health care crisis

Former Philadelphia Inquirer executive editor Gene Roberts, whose paper won 17 Pulitzers in his 18 years in that job, was asked in an interview, “Are there any beats you would suggest the mainstream press is missing today?â€? Roberts: “One of those is the medical crisis in the country. People write about it, but I don’t […]


News coverage of a new prostate cancer test

For a look at how two different news organizations covered the news of a potentially more accurate test for prostate cancer, see the review of a weaker ABC News story in contrast with the review of a stronger Baltimore Sun story. However, neither story adequately addressed the fact that while a more accurate test […]

6 4/25/2007

Chicago Sun-Times' imprudent prostate campaign

I am continuing my criticism of journalists and news organizations that crusade for screening tests – seemingly oblivious to the controversies and the debates that swirl around many of these screening tests. When a news organization takes an advocacy stance for a controversial cause, it should know the facts and the facts are that some […]


More pro-screening bias by some journalists

There’s a saying about the some of the problems with screening tests: How much disease you find may be a matter of how hard you look. Recently, I have evidence that how many problematic news stories on screening tests you find is only a matter of how hard you look. I won’t repeat episodes I’ve […]


Interesting new health blogs

I want to give a couple of plugs for interesting new health news blogs. The Wall Street Journal health news blog is terrific. One recent entry was on the trial that “showed that using stents in stable patients with mild to moderate chest pain doesn’t reduce the risk of heart attacks compared with drugs alone. […]

6 4/8/2007

CNN's one-sided view of mammography controversy

CNN’s House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta once again showed its one-sided, pro-screening bias this weekend. Excerpt: We’re starting with a change in what’s been standard medical advice for a long time. For years, women over 40 have been told they need routine mammograms. Now the American College of Physicians says women with no risk […]


60 Minutes on pharma influencing Congress – but why so late?

If you didn’t see 60 Minutes last Sunday (April 1), go to their website and read the story and watch the video link for the segment called “Under the Influence.â€? It’s the story of the incredible manipulation of Congress by the drug industry that took place to get the Medicare Part D legislation passed. Excerpt: […]


Journalism or advocacy? Evidence or opinion?

I’ve written a new Publisher’s Note on, and I’m posting part of it here. Stories about Elizabeth Edwards’ breast cancer and Tony Snow’s colon cancer have led some news organizations to offer recommendations about cancer screening. Unfortunately, some of the recommendations are simply not based on evidence. On the NBC Today show on March […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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