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.
2 11/27/2018

Is social media hurting science … and people?

Is social media a friend or foe of science? An opinion piece published in JAMA last week suggests the latter: Protecting the Value of Medical Science in the Age of Social Media and ‘Fake News‘ The authors argue social media poses a threat to science in several ways: Unfettered publication of unvetted information by sources […]

1 11/26/2018

Ending our offer of free pre-publication review of PR news releases

We are bewildered.  We don’t know what more we can do. There’s never been a service like ours that reviews the news and critiques it to try to improve the public dialogue about health care in the U.S.   There’s never been a service that reviews the quality of health care PR news releases.  And […]


Podcast: Our team reflects on what we’ve learned

After over 12 years of scrutinizing medical news to help improve the public dialogue on health care, closes up shop at the end of 2018.

In this podcast, the seven members of our staff take a look back and share what they’ve learned from the experience.

16 11/19/2018

Making Medicare choices in a marketplace mess: emperor wears no clothes

If you’re 65 or older, you may be in the middle of a Medicare decision-making mess right now because it’s open enrollment time. If you’re younger than 65, all I can say is “Good luck when you get to this point.” I’ll be on Medicare for the first time in about a month and a […]

10 11/15/2018

How some journalists got hooked by fish oil and vitamin D spin

Results of a much-anticipated trial on fish oil and vitamin D generated conflicting headlines last weekend. Some stories declared good news about the popular supplements: Reuters wrote that fish oil “can dramatically reduce the odds of a heart attack while vitamin D’s benefits seem to come from lowering the risk of death from cancer.” The […]


With free brain tumor screening, the road to early detection may be filled with potholes

The Brain Tumor Foundation’s Road to Early Detection is in Brooklyn, New York, this week, offering free brain tumor screening in its mobile MRI unit to anyone who signs up. The visit appears to be the foundation’s second stop on its current “sponsor-a-city” campaign. Earlier this year, the campaign visited Saratoga Springs, New York. Some local journalists enthusiastically […]

2 11/13/2018

‘Historic breakthrough Alzheimer patients around the globe have been awaiting’

Over the years, I have loved it when health care journalists send us tips. One recently wrote, “Have you all seen this BS? Some uneducated/informed friends are posting this on Facebook.” The BS she was referring to was our headline above, which appeared in the first sentence of a news story by WV News: The Independent […]

7 11/12/2018

Oh sh–! Almost forgot it’s C. diff Awareness Month!

Various advocacy interests have proclaimed November as the national (or global) awareness month for stomach cancer, osteoporosis, pancreatic cancer, prematurity, lung cancer, bladder health, Alzheimer’s disease, home health, family caregivers, and hospice/palliative care. And for the past four years, you’ve also been asked in November to heighten your awareness of Clostridium difficile — or “C. […]


5-Star Friday: Simplicity

Health care is complex, but so much of its excellence and effectiveness comes from simplicity. Our 5-star selections this week are good examples of this. Our first story features a world leader in cancer who believes in simple and straightforward communication of risk, but challenges the prevailing notion that cancer screening is a “simple” and […]


How minimally invasive surgery was spun as the ‘latest and greatest’ for cervical cancer

To understand how minimally invasive surgery for cervical cancer became popular before high-quality evidence was available about its outcomes, consider some rah-rah local news coverage. Back in 1995, for example, The Record of Hackensack, N.J., reported that laparoscopy “made surgery simpler and less painful,” with a doctor calling its tiny incisions a “breakthrough” for cervical […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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