What are the journalistic red flags with epidemiology statistics?
Alex Wayne of Bloomberg News demonstrates why reporters need to be careful when writing about prevalence. See it now »
New Tip Sheet
Using social media to find real people for your story
Asking the university- or hospital-affiliated author of a new paper won't help. That's why I've come to adore social media. See it now »
New How I Did It
Bringing a medical study home to your local market
Medical studies can be great jumping off points for local stories. The key is finding the people who are at the heart of the research. 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.
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.
What we don't know can hurt us: Industry bias against negative outcomes means vast amounts of research goes unpublished, Ben Goldacre says.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, 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/
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.
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Upcoming events on Medical Studies from the AHCJ calendar.