Author Archives: Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Dive into a treasure trove of articles at The Open Notebook

Writing about health and medical studies is part of the larger genre of writing about science. Perhaps the best science journalism site/blog out there is The Open Notebook, chock full of advice, tips, guides and inspiration.

We’ve highlighted their work here before, and now they’ve gone above and beyond with a special section aimed at new science journalists — though there’s plenty of gold there for veterans as well Continue reading

Are nutrition studies doomed, needing an overhaul — or doing just fine?

Photo: Marco Verch via Flickr

Nutrition studies can be as frustrating to cover as they can be fascinating. That’s because of the maddening coffee-chocolate-wine quandary: One day a study says one of these treats is good for you and the next day another study says it isn’t.

Part of the problem is the incredible complexity and diversity of human bodies, genetics, environments, diets and even disease. Red wine might be great for one condition, but increase risks for another at the same time. Continue reading

Dr. Lisa Schwartz’s loss reverberates throughout medical and journalism community

Lisa Schwartz

The evidence-based medical research community lost a hugely influential voice and amazing individual. Lisa Schwartz, M.D., M.S., a physician and researcher who dedicated her life to improving how research is published, interpreted and distributed, passed away on Thursday.

I first met Schwartz during the National Institutes of Health Medicine in the Media workshop in 2012, the last year it ran. She and her research partner (and husband), Steven Woloshin, M.D., M.S., ran the workshop and co-directed the Center for Medicine and the Media at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Continue reading

Reporter’s resource focuses on responsible mass shootings coverage

Photo: Amy Kearns via Flickr

As I write this post, I can’t even recall what the most recent mass shooting was. I know it wasn’t the Pittsburgh synagogue because that’s been a few weeks, and then there was the one at a country music club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., that came after that not long after. (The later incident sticks out in my mind because one victim had earlier survived last year’s Las Vegas mass shooting, also during another country music concert.) Continue reading

Careful language important when reporting on transgender health issues

Photo: Immanuel Brändemo via Flickr

Using appropriate terminology when reporting on medical studies is important not only for the sake of accuracy and clarity, but also to avoid causing harm to populations by using specialized but often misused terms.

This can be especially true when reporting on transgender people, a population now battling a proposal by the Trump administration proposal that in effect would define them “out of existence” as far as government programs, regulations and funding are concerned, as the New York Times recently reported. It’s more important than ever for journalists to avoid inappropriate terminology when reporting on this population. Continue reading

What to know (and do) before covering a medical research conference

Photo: ACRM-Rehabilitation via Flickr

If you’ve covered medical research conferences for a while, you know the drill and probably have a variety of tips and tricks already internalized to ensure the experience and your reporting goes as smoothly as possible. If you’re thinking about starting to cover conferences, or preparing to cover your first one, it can be intimidating to know what to expect. Continue reading