Check out these presentations from Health Journalism 2007 to improve your understanding of medical statistics, research, and quantitative data. See it now »
New Resource Link
Making sense of studies on nutrition and supplements
Examine.com provides independent analysis of the latest research on nutrition and supplements. See it now »
New How I Did It
Using data to expose the risks of home births
After analyzing newly collected data, reporter Markian Hawryluk wrote: "If home birth were a drug, it would be taken off the market." See it now »
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, 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., talks about numbers and absolute and relative risk in drug ads.
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.
Got a suggestion, comment or link? Enter the information and submit.
Upcoming events on Medical Studies from the AHCJ calendar.
Association of Health Care Journalists » Covering medical studies
Vapor from e-cigarettes triggers changes to cells in lab study
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes are growing in popularity among American adults, and while some states restrict their use by minors, nearly 1.8 million American middle and high school students reported using them one recent year, a federal study found. The battery-powered devices work by ...
Questioning the wisdom behind removing third molars
Americans spend about $3 billion annually getting wisdom teeth removed. But some experts are now questioning whether the procedure is always necessary, Elise Oberliesen recently reported in a story for the Los Angeles Times. “Those who oppose automatically taking out those four teeth say ...
Posts about Ebola, oral health, ethics and data among year’s top reads
As we close out 2014, take a look back at the most popular Covering Health posts of the year: Comparing U.S., Canadian health care systems Blaming moms: How miscommunication on epigenetics is a threat to women’s health Separating fact from fiction on water fluoridation S.C. adults may gain dental ...
Grant will allow comprehensive tracking of journal retractions
A $400,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation will be used to create a database of retractions from scientific journals, extending the work done by Adam Marcus and AHCJ Vice President Ivan Oransky on their Retraction Watch blog. The grant was awarded to the Center for Scientific Integrity, a ...