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.
These podcasts are driven by our passion for improving the public dialogue about health care. You’ll hear from leading physicians, researchers, and journalists. But you’ll also hear patient stories, some of them talking about how they were harmed by misleading media messages.
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Podcast: Memoirs of a female surgeon

Only 7 percent of orthopedic surgeons in the United States are women.

Dr. Julie Switzer is one of them.

In this podcast we touch on gender, but we mostly address two other topics. First, is Switzer’s passion for caring for the elderly who sustain fractures. Second, the emerging sports focus in how orthopedics is covered by the media, and marketed to the public.

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Podcast: Why would a 23-year-old graduate student choose to live in a nursing home?

About 6 percent of older Americans live in nursing homes. However, nearly half of us over the age of 65 will spend some time in a nursing home at some point in our life.

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2 4/20/2017

Podcast: Wellness programs – do they work?

Wellness programs in the United States are an $8 billion industry.

Over 50 million Americans are enrolled in such programs. They are as variable in size and quality as the companies and organizations that offer them.

In this podcast you’ll hear 3 voices:

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1 3/14/2017

Podcast: Why a health care journalist chose active surveillance for prostate cancer

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.

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Podcast: Two veteran views on health care reform | Q & A with a politician & a journalist

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.

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Podcast: Gerd Gigerenzer – systematic misinformation of the public about health care

“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.

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Podcast: Music video parodies to deliver critical health care messages

James McCormack calls himself “Pharmacist, Professor, Medication Mythbuster, and Healthy Skeptic at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia.”

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2 10/4/2016

Podcast: campaign on osteoporosis overdiagnosis

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.

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Podcast: Vinay Prasad, MD takes on moonshots, precision medicine, journalism & more

It doesn’t take much to get Vinay Prasad, MD, started. Throw out a few ideas….

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Podcast: Trying to make breast cancer decisions while conflicting news stories swirl about

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.

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