If you are joining us for Health Journalism 2019 in Baltimore in a few weeks, be sure to arrive in time to attend the Thursday morning workshop on reporting on medical studies.
For those not attending any field trips, you have the opportunity to come and hear from two new speakers this year who will expand our discussion of medical research coverage to cost effectiveness, policy and patient-centered outcomes studies, plus some extra diving into understanding those intimidating biostats in studies!
As the AHCJ core topic leader for medical studies, I will give an overview of the nuts and bolts of reading a study, reporting on it responsibly and accurately and a quick and dirty list of questions to have ready for every researcher you interview. Then Ishani Ganguli, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, will take over to discuss her areas of expertise in patient-centered outcomes, health policy and the clinical relevance of medical research for doctors in day-to-day practice. In addition to her physician and teaching duties, Ganguli reviewed stories for HealthNewsReview.com and is an accomplished journalist, so she understands the challenge of making the jargon of medical studies accessible to typical readers.
The hands-on session — we’ll explore studies in small groups throughout the workshop — also features Regina Nuzzo, Ph.D., professor of science, technology and mathematics at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., to help demystify the often opaque biostats we encounter in studies. A biostats whiz, Nuzzo teaches statistics in American Sign Language at Gallaudet and frequently travels to give talks on “why we just can’t understand p-values, how our brain can fool us during data analysis, what happens when people abuse and misuse statistics, and tips and tricks for communicating anything with numbers and statistics.”
Nuzzo also is a journalist with clips in a wide range of national publications, including the New York Times, New Scientist and Science News, among others. Be sure to check out her award-winning Nature story on p-values ahead of the conference, and, in the meantime, start following Nuzzo and Ganguli on Twitter. Whether you’ve been reporting on medical studies for years, have just begun to write about them or are considering it, we’ll cover the gamut of skills and knowledge to have something for everyone. We hope you’ll join us for this hands-on experience!