AHCJ webcasts

Perfecting the 15-minute background check – for all sources

January 2019
How can you be sure your expert source doesn't have a shady past? What if your lead anecdote has a history of insurance fraud? We'll walk through some websites and strategies you can use to create a routine and spot potential red flags before you get burned, whether you're interviewing a patient with a medical story, an outside expert researchers or anyone else.

January 2018
Approximately 2.5 million new scientific papers are published each year, according to recent estimates. To keep up with the literature in a field such as cancer, for example, a person would have to read 17 papers every waking hour all 365 days a year. But journalists work on deadline, and they need to efficiently search for and identify relevant scientific evidence to inform their reporting. In this session presented in San Francisco by the Association of Health Care Journalists as part of the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists, stewards of leading health and science databases shared their best practices for mining databases. The offered handy shortcuts for uncovering everything from key research studies to epidemiological data, and revealed forthcoming tools that put more power in the hands of journalists who want access to the raw information produced by health studies.

Obesity research: What to know and making sense of studies

AHCJ webcast

Calling obesity an "epidemic" is almost a cliche in health reporting, but there is no question that obesity is linked to many serious health issues and quality of life, and obesity incidence has been increasing.

That reality has led to even more medical research into its causes, its treatment and management and the conditions obesity increases the risk of experiencing.

Obesity expert and physician Yoni Freedhoff provides an overview of obesity research and explains what reporters need to know and look for in medical research about obesity.

Covering news about screenings, preventive health recommendations

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force often finds itself in the news when determining what works and doesn’t work in screenings and preventive care. The task force's work lies in translating medical evidence into clinical practice, which can be a difficult and contentious task. 

In this webcast, moderated by AHCJ medical studies topic leader Brenda Goodman, Virginia A. Moyer, M.D., M.P.H., and Michael L. LeFevre, M.D., M.S.P.H., of the USPSTF, explain how the task force works in an effort to deepen our reporting of upcoming task force recommendations. 

Video & audio

What are clinical trial phases?

 Clinical trials: It’s not just a phase!

TEDx: The hidden side of clinical trials

U.S. Health and Human Services: Explaining randomization in clinical trials

TEDx: Exploitation and ethics in clinical trials

TEDx: How to stop the lies infecting medical research

Health care triago by Aaron Carroll: How does the FDA approve a drug?

Data Safety & Monitoring Board (DSMB) Establishment

Safety monitoring during Clinical Trial

Group Sequential Designs and Sample Size Re-estimation - Modern Uses

Surveillance Bias (Detection Bias)


Selection bias: A real-world example

When analyzing data, it is of paramount importance to utilize the right econometric models in order to generate accurate results. Otherwise, it's possible that you'll end up at the exact wrong conclusion. In this video insight, Dr. Housman shared an example that emerges from World War II and demonstrates exactly why utilizing the proper empirical technique really does matter.

Addiction is a disease: We ought to treat it like one

Only one in nine people in the United States gets the care and treatment they need for addiction and substance abuse. A former Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli is working to end this epidemic and treat people with addictions with kindness, compassion and fairness. In a personal, thoughtful talk, he encourages the millions of Americans in recovery today to make their voices heard and confront the stigma associated with substance use disorders.

A bold new way to fund drug research

Believe it or not, about 20 years' worth of potentially life-saving drugs are sitting in labs right now, untested. Why? Because they can't get the funding to go to trials; the financial risk is too high. Roger Stein is a finance guy, and he thinks deeply about mitigating risk. He and some colleagues at MIT came up with a promising new financial model that could move hundreds of drugs into the testing pipeline.

Which Medication Is Best?

This animated explainer from the Institute of Translational Health Sciences looks at how doctors tend to make prescribing decisions.

Beware conflicts of interest, a TED talk from Dan Ariely

In this short talk, psychologist Dan Ariely tells two personal stories that explore scientific conflict of interest: How the pursuit of knowledge and insight can be affected, consciously or not, by shortsighted personal goals. When we're thinking about the big questions, he reminds us, let's be aware of our all-too-human brains.

Vaccinating Children: Public Trust and Health

While the majority of Americans vaccinate their children, there are many parents who selectively choose the vaccines to be given or who decline vaccinations altogether. This Harvard School of Public Health Forum event, held a few days after the September 10 airing of the NOVA film Vaccines: Calling the Shots, examined the drivers of public perceptions of vaccinations, the threats that vaccine-preventable illnesses pose, and the steps to be taken to restore trust in one of public health’s greatest weapons against infectious diseases.

Beware Neuro-Bunk, a TED talk from Molly Crockett

Molly Crockett

Brains are ubiquitous in modern marketing. Headlines proclaim cheese sandwiches help with decision-making, while a “neuro” drink claims to reduce stress. There’s just one problem, says neuroscientist Molly Crockett: The benefits of these "neuro-enhancements" are not proven scientifically. In this to-the-point talk, Crockett explains the limits of interpreting neuroscientific data, and why we should all be aware of them.

We Need Better Drugs Now: A TEDMED talk from Francis Collins

Francis Collins

Today we know the molecular cause of 4,000 diseases, but treatments are available for only 250 of them. So what’s taking so long? Geneticist and physician Francis Collins explains why systematic drug discovery is imperative, even for rare and complex diseases, and offers a few solutions — like teaching old drugs new tricks.

Sugar, salt & supplements: Sorting the science

Sugar, salt, supplementsThis panel of Harvard experts will help explain the latest thinking on the nutritional science and provide some guidance on steps consumers can take to improve their diets.

The panel also takes a look at some important policy dimensions to help American adults and children eat nutritionally sound, affordable meals. Presented by The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health in collaboration with The Huffington Post.