The May 2 special issue of JAMA is one to bookmark, because its theme is integral to the work of all journalists: reporting on conflicts of interest (COI). And the best part? The whole thing is free to the public — no paywalls.
As much as covering medical research is making sense of the numbers — statistics, p values, absolute risk, the number needed to treat and the rest — it’s also about good, old-fashioned journalism when it looking at all angles of a story. Continue reading
AHCJ’s board of directors has voted unanimously to add a new item to its Statement of Principles, the association’s compendium of professional and ethical guidelines.
These principles lie at the core of AHCJ’s mission to promote the highest standards of health care journalism, and have been little changed since the organization was founded.
Adding a new principle is a significant move that may prove especially relevant in the years ahead. Continue reading
Just one in every six new stories about medical research contained independent comments from someone besides the study authors — and a quarter of them did not have the relevant clinical or academic expertise to be commenting on the research. Further, just over half of those commenters had relevant conflicts of interest, but only half were reported in the news article. Those are the findings of a sobering, though unsurprising, new study that reveals just how much news consumers suffer from a dearth of high-quality reporting on medical research.
In plainer terms, health journalists need to be doing a better job when reporting on medical research. Continue reading
News features on organ transplants often focus on a specific success story. But there’s far more under the surface when it comes to the issue of organ donation and policies surrounding them.
David Wahlberg of the Wisconsin State Journal took a deep dive into this, producing a nine-part in-depth series that examined several different angles. His work picked up a first place Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism in 2015 in the Health Policy (small) category.
Wahlberg focused on three aspects of organ transplantation: allocation, deceased donation and living donation. Continue reading
Medical students are accessing patient electronic health records after those patients are no longer in their care, raising some interesting ethical, educational and patient rights issues.
The results of the small survey of about 100 fourth-year medical students, published in JAMA Internal Medicine this week, offer some insights into the reasons why medical students access former patient EHRs and any ethical dilemmas about doing so. Continue reading