Karen D. Brown writes about navigating medical data after a cancer diagnosis. See it now »
The science behind sugar, salt & supplements
Harvard experts explain the latest thinking on nutritional science and important policy dimensions. See it now »
New Tip Sheet
Are you covering a fakethrough?
Jonathan Latham, Ph.D., talks about covering scientific advances that will never progress to new treatments or beneficial products.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What we don't know can hurt us: Industry bias against negative outcomes means vast amounts of research goes unpublished, Ben Goldacre says.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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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.
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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/
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Stan Muller -- Director, Producer
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Upcoming events on Medical Studies from the AHCJ calendar.