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Coretopic:Medical Studies

New Tip Sheet

Covering scientific conferences

Veteran journalist Mark Taylor shares his strategy for successfully covering such massive events. See it now »

New Shared Wisdom

Reporting on findings of a single study

Olivia Campbell offers advice on finding context for reporting on medical research. See it now »

New Resource Link

Promoting transparency in research

The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences has articles about research and where it can go wrong. See it now »

Topic overview

Whether you’re a health reporting specialist or a general assignment reporter who is just picking up the health beat for the first time, covering a medical study can be a bit daunting. Most reporters got into journalism to nurse a love of words, after all. But reporters who cover medical research need to know as much about math as they do about language and storytelling. Often, the story is in the numbers. Good health reporters are also translators, turning the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research into language that average readers can grasp.

As dry and formal as medical studies may seem, they also have beating hearts. There are the researchers who may spend months or years conducting trials and tabulating and interpreting results to produce the final paper. There are patients who participated in clinical trials. There are the readers who will be affected by the information we communicate.  There are doctors who have to figure out whether or even how to integrate new findings into patient care.



John Ioannidis - Reproducibility of scientific&nbsp;results<br /><span>uploaded April 17, 2015</span>

John Ioannidis, Professor of Medicine, Health Research and Policy, and Statistics, Stanford University, USA presents the 4th EQUATOR Annual Lecture on "Reporting and reproducible research: salvaging the self-correction principle of science".

Pamela Hartzband, M.D., on numbers in drug&nbsp;ads<br /><span>uploaded April 17, 2015</span>

Pamela Hartzband, M.D., talks about numbers and absolute and relative risk in drug ads.

Jerome Groopman, M.D., on using&nbsp;anecdotes<br /><span>uploaded April 17, 2015</span>

Jerome Groopman, M.D., talks about how journalists should use anecdotes in their reporting and the power of health journalists in this talk from Health Journalism 2013 in Boston.

Pamela Hartzband, M.D., on absolute vs. relative&nbsp;numbers<br /><span>uploaded April 17, 2015</span>

Pamela Hartzband, M.D., discusses the importance of being careful when reporting on medical studies and using absolute vs. relative numbers in this talk from Health Journalism 2013 in Boston.

Ben Goldacre at TEDMED&nbsp;2012<br /><span>uploaded April 17, 2015</span>

What we don't know can hurt us: Industry bias against negative outcomes means vast amounts of research goes unpublished, Ben Goldacre says.

H Gilbert Welch - The Two Most Misleading Numbers in&nbsp;Medicine<br /><span>uploaded April 17, 2015</span>

H. Gilbert Welch, MD, gives the presentation "The Two Most Misleading Numbers in Medicine" at the February, 2012, Advanced Study Weekend, presented by Dr. John and Mary McDougall. Click here for more videos. http://drmcdougall.com/

Ben Goldacre: What doctors don't know about the drugs they&nbsp;prescribe<br /><span>uploaded April 17, 2015</span>

When a new drug gets tested, the results of the trials should be published for the rest of the medical world -- except much of the time, negative or inconclusive findings go unreported, leaving doctors and researchers in the dark. In this impassioned talk, Ben Goldacre explains why these unreported instances of negative data are especially misleading and dangerous. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more. Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate Follow TED news on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tednews Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector

Survival vs Mortality Rates: Healthcare Triage&nbsp;#7<br /><span>uploaded April 17, 2015</span>

You can directly support Healthcare Triage on Patreon: http://vid.io/xqXr If you can afford to pay a little every month, it really helps us to continue producing great content. Almost every time someone wants to proclaim the US to be the "best in the world" in health care, they point to survival rates. Those refer to the percent of people who live a certain amount of time after they've been diagnosed with a disease. But there are real problems in using survival rates to compare the quality of care across systems. The metric people should be using is mortality rates. And when we compare mortality rates, we don't look nearly as good. Why is this important? Glad you asked. We answer in this week's episode. Make sure you subscribe above so you don't miss any upcoming episodes! This happens to be one of Aaron's pet peeves. He's written on it many, many times at his blog. Many posts, all of which are chock full of links and references, can be found here: http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/tag/survival-rate/ John Green -- Executive Producer Stan Muller -- Director, Producer Aaron Carroll -- Writer Mark Olsen -- Graphics http://twitter.com/aaronecarroll http://twitter.com/realjohngreen http://twitter.com/crashcoursestan http://twitter.com/olsenvideo

Number Needed to Treat: Treatments Don't Work Like You Think They&nbsp;Work<br /><span>uploaded April 17, 2015</span>

You can directly support Healthcare Triage on Patreon: http://vid.io/xqXr If you can afford to pay a little every month, it really helps us to continue producing great content. One of the problems with the way we discuss health interventions is that we see them in black and white. Something is either good for you or bad for you. Things are rarely that simple, though. Moreover, there's "good for you" and "GOOD FOR YOU". How do you tell the difference? Watch and learn. Almost all of the data for this came from the amazing website TheNNT (http://thennt.com). You can go there to see those and more. Additionally, Aaron's new book is out! Please consider buying a copy. He'd really appreciate it! http://dontputthatinthere.com/#buy_the_book John Green -- Executive Producer Stan Muller -- Director, Producer Aaron Carroll -- Writer Mark Olsen -- Graphics http://www.twitter.com/aaronecarroll http://www.twitter.com/crashcoursestan http://www.twitter.com/realjohngreen http://www.twitter.com/olsenvideo


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Upcoming events on Medical Studies from the AHCJ calendar.

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