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We have written dozens of stories and reviews on screening for prostate cancer. But once a man is diagnosed he is faced with a complicated — and often intimidating — menu of treatment choices.
Attempts at health care reform in the United States go back over a century. If you wanted to find just one politician and one journalist who are well versed in both the history of those reform efforts, as well as what might be needed moving forward, you would be hard pressed to do better than Dave Durenberger and Trudy Lieberman.
“Health care should not systematically mislead the public about benefits and about harms.”
With strong, authoritative statements like that, Gerd Gigerenzer grabbed my attention the first time I heard him speak. Yes, his soft-spoken eloquence and Bavarian baritone were engaging. But the hook was his ability to break down seemingly-complex issues about risk and statistics into easy-to-understand nuggets. Nuggets that your brain can chew on easier than the gristle that we are usually fed with stats about risk.
But he also talks about the ethics of what he considers to be systematic misinformation of the public about health care benefits and harms.
James McCormack calls himself “Pharmacist, Professor, Medication Mythbuster, and Healthy Skeptic at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia.”
Increasingly, I’m becoming more appreciative of, and am on the lookout for, alternative, creative approaches to reach the general public with messages to improve the public dialogue about health care interventions.
So when I went, for the second straight year, to the international Preventing Overdiagnosis conference, which was in Barcelona this year, a new social movement campaign caught my attention.
It doesn’t take much to get Vinay Prasad, MD, started. Throw out a few ideas….
In another episode in our ad hoc series of podcasts on how patients can be harmed by flawed news stories, we introduce another breast cancer patient story.
Melissa_Phipps-montage-blog-post_pageMelissa Phipps, 44, is a journalist, a mother of two sons, and, for the last year, a breast cancer patient. In the photos at right you see her at various stages, including losing her hair after chemotherapy.
Once AnneMarie Ciccarella gets going, there’s no stopping her. You may get a rant, and you may get more than you bargained for.
But you’ll definitely get a smart patient’s perspective about what’s wrong with a lot of media messages about breast cancer – especially messages from some celebrities about their breast cancer experiences. On Twitter, where she Tweets as @chemobrainfog, she describes herself as “Fierce advocate, activist, blogger.
As I look around after my own 40+ years in health care journalism, I don’t see many others still plowing away at these topics for as long as I have. But today we profile one. In another of our series of podcasts profiling standouts in health/medical/science journalism, you have the chance to hear from Sharon Begley – someone who has been a class act with an outstanding body of work for nearly 40 years.
In the spring of 2005, then-president Jack Fowler of the then-Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making (FIMDM) approached me looking for ideas. He wanted to bring ideas to his Board about how to reach the broader patient population beyond those that FIMDM was reaching with its condition-specific shared decision-making programs (which I had helped produce throughout the ’90s as an employee of FIMDM based at Dartmouth Medical School).
Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims