Category Archives: Covering medical studies

The earth is heating up. What should journalists call that?

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Photo: CraneStation via FlickrIs this drought-stricken field a victim of global warning, climate change or something else?

Photo: CraneStation via FlickrIs this drought-stricken field a victim of global warning, climate change or something else?

Writing about the increasing temperatures around the globe has been a mainstay of environmental and science journalism for decades, but it has become increasingly more relevant for health journalists as well. Environmental health has always been a significant part of health coverage, and the impact of climate change on human health grows larger by the year. For example, covering natural disasters such as hurricanes (a great guide here) or tornadoes, or simply writing about extreme heat waves often calls for at least a mention of climate change these days. Continue reading

Flaws, limits and conflicts: Tips to find study pitfalls #AHCJ16

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

At Health Journalism 2016 in Cleveland, Andrew M. Seaman and Hilda Bastian discussed shortcuts for weighing the likelihood a study’s answer is right, making sense of shifting bodies of evidence and cutting through researcher spin. Continue reading

Hungry for weight loss: Challenges and hope in the battle against obesity #AHCJ16

Melinda Hemmelgarn

About Melinda Hemmelgarn

Melinda Hemmelgarn, M.S., R.D., is an award-winning writer, speaker and radio host specializing in food, health and nutrition. She works to help consumers understand how daily food choices affect personal health and our global environment.

Photo: Melinda HemmelgarnCarolyn E. levers-Landis, Ph.D., and Bartolome Burguera, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo: Melinda HemmelgarnCarolyn E. levers-Landis, Ph.D., and Bartolome Burguera, M.D., Ph.D.

As a registered dietitian who has studied obesity prevention and treatment for more than three decades, I was intrigued by the Health Journalism 2016 session titled: “Science: Breaking Down Obesity.”

The panel featured endocrinologist, Bartolome Burguera, M.D., Ph.D., director of obesity programs at the Cleveland Clinic, and licensed clinical psychologist, Carolyn E. Ievers-Landis, Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. Abe Aboraya, health reporter with WMFE-Orlando, moderated. Continue reading

Tips on medical research reporting 101 kicks off #AHCJ16 in Cleveland

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

road-to-cleveland-2Almost since the inception of health journalism, reporting on medical research has been one of the mainstays of the job. That does not, however, mean it’s easy or work to be taken lightly. With dozens of potentially interesting and relevant papers coming out each week, full of statistics and findings that may or may not be “statistically significant” or “clinically significant,” covering medical studies can be daunting to a newcomer.

Enter one of the longest running workshops at the AHCJ annual conference: the Thursday morning session “Reporting on Medical Studies.” Continue reading

Making the most of medical research sessions at #AHCJ16

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

road-to-cleveland-2Each year, the AHCJ conference includes a smorgasbord of opportunities to inform and enhance journalists’ knowledge and reporting. Topics include health care disparities, hospital performance reporting, age-specific conditions for youth and elderly alike – and, of course, what the medical research reveals about these and other subjects.

Even in sessions that focus on a specific population or a condition that doesn’t immediately seem relevant to medical research – such as how to cover the ongoing opioid epidemic – there likely are ways that the material intersects with research on that topic. If you’re looking for stories that might involve some digging in PubMed, here are some sessions to consider during Health Journalism 2016 in Cleveland, April 7-10. Continue reading