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: Brian Nosek, Center for Open Science

On his website, Brian Nosek posts this quote:

‘All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike – and yet it is the most precious thing we have.” – Albert Einstein

Improving science is precious to Nosek and the Center for Open Science at the University of Virginia that he leads.

I interviewed him recently at the “Improving Biomedical Research 2015” conference at Stanford, hosted by METRICS, run by John Ioannidis and Steven Goodman. Here is our podcast episode with that interview:

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2 12/7/2015

Podcast: John Ioannidis – “scourge of sloppy science”

The BMJ called him “the scourge of sloppy science.”

Asked to summarize his personality in 3 words, he used: “Uncompromising…gentle…maniac.”

He’s Dr. John Ioannidis. He’s made a career out of doing science about science. Doing good science about bad science, about flawed science, about irreproducible science, about science that lacks transparency – to other scientists and certainly to the general public.

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2 11/12/2015

Podcast: A Finn with a bone to pick about osteoporosis screening & treatment

With article headlines such as “Osteoporosis: the emperor has no clothes,” Dr. Teppo Järvinen appears on the international “Too Much Medicine” stage with his concerns about the way osteoporosis is diagnosed and treated.

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Podcast: 10th anniversary of an unusual medical group

This week, the National Physician Alliance co-authored a new report, “Politics in the Exam Room: A Growing Threat.” The authors state that it “looks at state laws that intrude into exam rooms in the areas of toxic chemical exposures, women’s reproductive health, and gun violence prevention, jeopardizing the quality of medical care available to pati

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Podcast: Overuse in orthopedics

To foster conversations between patients and physicians about what care is really necessary, the AAOS recently released a list of five specific tests or procedures that are commonly ordered but not always necessary. The effort is part of the Choosing Wisely® campaign.

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Podcast: Pathologic profiling – Dr. Otis Brawley on cancer overdiagnosis

Despite many advances in studying cancer, we still use a definition of cancer from the 1850s. That’s what Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, told the recent Preventing Overdiagnosis 2015 conference at the National Institutes of Health.

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2 9/23/2015

Podcast: DCIS dilemma – Dr. Laura Esserman

Dr. Laura Esserman is a surgeon and breast cancer specialist who works at the University of California San Francisco. The San Francisco Chronicle last year called her a rock star. She told the newspaper that she is driven by “Passion, persistence and energy. I want to drive efforts to completion: change the way we run clinical trials.”

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Podcast: Overdiagnosis & radiology … the arsonist & the firefighter

Professional definition: Radiologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries using medical imaging techniques, such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasound.

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6 9/11/2015

Podcast: Idolatry of the surrogate … Dr. John S. Yudkin on overdiagnosis in diabetes

Our new podcast features an important topic: Is there overdiagnosis of diabetes? Is the creation of the term and the diagnosis of “pre-diabetes” another form of over diagnosis?

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2 8/11/2015

Introducing the Health News Watchdog podcast

I started in radio news 42 years ago in Milwaukee. Finally, I’m getting back into it – in a way – by introducing our first podcast on

The first episode features Dr. Hanna Bloomfield, who had a Howard Beale “mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” moment when she received a piece of direct mail marketing that promoted cardiovascular screening tests that she knew she didn’t need. Listen to hear her story.

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Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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