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.

Trying to serve two masters in health journalism

Competition among news organizations is a good thing. Readers and viewers already get far too many reports that are regurgitated in similar fashion from the same source. But big media companies increasingly are going in the other direction: hiring big media names to serve two masters simultaneously. The latest is CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who, […]


Scores on Eight Lung Cancer Screening Stories

In the last Publisher’s Note, I wrote about our reviews of six stories by six different news organizations on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine about CAT scan screening for lung cancer in smokers. After that Note was published, we posted two more reviews of other stories on that study. U.S. […]


USA Today Weekend special "breakthrough" edition

The HealthBehaviorBlog takes a poke at the most recent USA Today Weekend edition, which offers “13 scientific breakthroughs that could change everything” in medical care. The blog post reads: “Although the newspaper offers a blithe caveat that “there’s no guarantee, of course,” nine of the 13 magic bullets in the article were basically ads for […]


NBC reporter involvement/editorializing on lung scans

NBC news correspondent Mike Taibbi says he quit smoking after ABC’s Peter Jennings died of lung cancer. Now Taibbi is telling his story on the air. Included in that story is Taibbi having a CT scan. His main source is Dr. Claudia Henschke, who recently promoted the benefits of lung CT scanning with a new […]


Comparing Different Media on the Same Story

We’re making a new effort to compare coverage by different news organizations on the same story. For journalists and for consumers, we think this comparison will be interesting and insightful. For example, we’ve posted reviews of six stories by six different news organizations (three print, three broadcast) on a study published in the New England […]


eHealthcare Leadership Award to

Last week in Atlanta, at The Tenth Annual Healthcare Internet Conference, won an eHealthcare Leadership Award for “best community benefit.”


Medicine in conflict

Business Week has an interesting special report on “blurring the lines between objective science and financial gain. ” The magazine profiles a New York heart specialist who is chairman of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation in New York. Excerpt: “The foundation uses donations and fees from medical device companies to stage (an) annual conference, called Transcatheter […]

2 10/29/2006

Newspaper reader: "Don't promote unproven therapies"

Sometimes you see a letter to the editor of a newspaper that you just want to frame. One such note appeared in today’s Star Tribune. The letter stated: “Why not a more accurate headline for your Oct. 23 Business article “Massage that offers a healing message”? I suggest “St. Thomas prof sees business opportunity in […]


Are U.S. breasts different?

My friend Andrew Holtz asked journalists on the Association of Health Care Journalists’ listserv, “Why did this week’s Cochrane review examining the balance of risks and benefits of mammography get widespread coverage in the UK, but almost no mention in the US news media? Of the two dozen stories picked up in a Google News […]


Newspapers Lift Wire Stories, But May Miss the Best of the Original Story

Journalists already know this, but many news consumers may not. What you read in your local newspaper or its website may be a considerably-shortened version of a story that was written by someone in another city who put a lot more work into the original than what you see. Here’s an example of what can […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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