Tag Archives: National Library of Medicine

Former NLM director helped create AHCJ-NLM Health Journalism Fellowships

Donald A.B. Lindberg

Donald A.B. Lindberg

Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D., 85, the director emeritus of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) within the U.S. National Institutes of Health whose support helped create an important fellowship program with AHCJ, died on Aug. 16 from head injuries after a fall at his home.

Lindberg was instrumental in the creation of the Association of Health Care Journalists-NLM Fellowship program in 2008 and often met with the journalists who were selected as fellows.

Lindberg was NLM’s director for 31 years from 1984-2015. He was the founding director of the White House High Performance Computing and Communications Program from 1992-95. Continue reading

Learning to find – and navigate – the wealth of data online

Robert Logan, Ph.D.

Robert Logan, Ph.D.

The abundance of data available through PubMed, ClinicalTrials.gov and other National Library of Medicine resources can be overwhelming, especially if you are just learning to dig into medical studies.

But if you stick around for Sunday morning’s sessions at Health Journalism 2015 in Silicon Valley, you can join Robert Logan, Ph.D., a communication scientist at the National Library of Medicine, and Ivan Oransky, M.D., vice president and global editorial director of MedPage Today and co-founder of Retraction Watch, as they guide you through these sites and show you how to find and use the information you need for your story – or even to find stories.

Ivan Oransky, M.D.

In an interactive session – bring your laptop! – Logan will show you where to find health and medical information on MedlinePlus.gov, PubMed, PubMed Health and ClinicalTrials.gov.

“MedlinePlus.gov is a gateway to all NLM websites and it is written for patients, the public, and the press,” Logan explained. “Once comfortable with MedlinePlus.gov, health reporters also gain curated access to many of National Library of Medicine’s health information services that are used by medical professionals and scientists.” Then Oransky, who is vice president of AHCJ’s board of directors, will show you how to use what you find in your reporting.

Even if you have attended this Sunday morning session before, Logan and Oransky have updated the presentation to help you take advantage of new features in these sites. “For example, PubMed Health, a rich resource of systematic reviews, has been redesigned and is easier to use,” Logan said. “PubMed Commons is expanding and increasingly provides a place to find critics of (and sources about) current medical research studies.”

Another new feature includes commenting from approved researchers on the PubMed site. “Members will learn how to tap into active conversations among researchers about one another’s work,” Oransky said. “We’ll make finding context, and the right outside sources, super-easy.”

Online registration for the conference ends at noon CT on Wednesday, April 8. The conference hotel’s rooms are sold out, but the AHCJ conference website provides information on nearby hotel options.

Lindberg, NLM’s health informatics pioneer, to retire


National Library of MedicineNLM Director Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, with artwork inspired by NLM’s Visible Human Project.

Don Lindberg, M.D., who has served as director of the National Library of Medicine for more than 30 years, will retire at the end of March 2015.

In a statement, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Institutes of Health, described Lindberg as “an expert and groundbreaking innovator in the world of information technology, artificial intelligence, computer-aided medical diagnosis, and electronic health records.”

Lindberg, under whose tenure the AHCJ-NLM Health Journalism Fellowships were developed, was the first president of the American Medical Informatics Association. The organization says that many of its members “have benefitted from his strong leadership in training programs, research activities, and educational programs.” The AMIA recognizes his contributions to the field with its annual Donald A.B. Lindberg Award for Innovations in Informatics.

Collins described many of Lindberg’s contributions, many of which are tools regularly used by health journalists, with some historical perspective:

Don has created programs that changed fundamentally the way biomedical information is collected, shared, and analyzed. Think about it-when Don began, NLM had no electronic journals in its collection, few people owned personal computers, and even fewer had access to the Internet. He introduced numerous landmark projects such as free Internet access to MEDLINE via PubMed, MedlinePlus for the general public, the Visible Human Project, ClinicalTrials.gov, the Unified Medical Language System, and more. Don also created the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). NCBI has been a focal point for “Big Data” in biomedicine for decades, providing rapid access to the data generated by the Human Genome Project and now to massive amounts of genetic sequence data generated from evolving high-throughput sequencing technologies. GenBank, PubMed Central, and dbGaP are just some of the many NCBI databases that support and enable access to the results of research funded by NIH and many other organizations.

According to the NLM website, Lindberg is the author of three books, several book chapters and more than 200 articles and reports. He has served as editor and editorial board member of nine publications, including the Journal of the American Medical Association.

2012 class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows chosen

Six journalists have been named to this year’s class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows. The fellowship program was created to increase reporters’ access and understanding of the considerable resources available at NLM and the National Institutes of Health.AHCJ-NLM Fellowships

The journalists chosen to take part this year are:

  • Cynthia Craft, senior health writer, The Sacramento Bee
  • Cathy Dombrowski, senior writer, Elsevier
  • Pamela Fayerman, medical/health issues reporter, The Vancouver Sun/Postmedia Network
  • Tamara Jeffries, freelance writer/editor, Greensboro, N.C.
  • Tina Reed, health reporter, The Capital (Annapolis, Md.)
  • Mary Ann Roser, medical writer, Austin American-Statesman

Their visit to the NIH campus, scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 4, will include hands-on workshops about how to use and get the most from several government research databases, such as PubMed, MedlinePlus, ClinicalTrials.gov and ToxNet. Fellows also will meet with senior NLM and NIH researchers and officials for exclusive informational sessions. Continue reading

Visit NIH and learn how to use NLM research, tools

AHCJ has teamed up with the National Library of Medicine to present the AHCJ-NLM Health Journalism Fellowships. Four journalists will spend a week on the campus of the National Institutes of Health. The selected journalists will:

  • Learn how to explore the latest NIH research
  • Learn to understand and interpret biomedical statistics
  • Take advantage of NLM’s data, programs and resources for stronger stories
  • Get hands-on training in PubMed, MedlinePlus, ClinicalTrials.gov, ToxNet and Household Products Database

The fellowship includes membership, travel expenses, lodging and stipend.

Apply online or download a PDF application. Deadline: Aug. 22.