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
It doesn’t take long for many journalists to end up on a slew of PR and marketing lists. Pitch emails roll in 24/7 to promote a product, announce a new study, suggest a story idea or offer up an expert to comment on the pitches or a future story.
Most of these emails end up in the trash, opened or not, but the daily influx occasionally contains a few gems. Continue reading
Organizers of free megaclinics at city stadiums and rural fairgrounds frequently describe their efforts as “Band-Aid” solutions to a much deeper problem with access to health services in many communities.
The shortage of oral health providers in poor and isolated areas is often severe, for example. The need for dental care tops the list of many of the people seeking care. Continue reading