572651 tn?1530999357

Medical News Reporting - Something to Consider

Our local NPR station carries a program called Sound Medicine, produced by Indiana University School of Medicine.  This program is available online and by podcast and always covers a wide variety of stories.  This past weekend I heard a thought provoking piece on medical reporting.  The entire interview can be heard at  


It is an interview with Gary Schwitzer, University of Minneapolis health journalism program.  He talks about flaws in how journalists who cover medical news and explains why these "breakthrough discovery" stories than get us so excited, more times than not are not accurate but merely sensationalized headlines.  

His premise is medical journals only print positive stories and omit stories of failure.  Medical journalists rely on those journals for their stories.   Budget constraints on reporters limits their ability to travel and thoroughly investigate these stories and take the intial journal reports at face value.  He contends there is a bias in medical reporting because of these factors.  Very interesting story and if you take the 10 minutes to listen, I hope you will let me know what you think.

UM also has a website that rates medical news stories - a full listing and explanation of the criteria they use is listed on their site -

Knowledge is power,
2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
701252 tn?1234375689
Thanks for posting this! Whenever a new drug or "breakthrough' comes out, I don't get very excited - at least I try not to.  I like to give it a few more years before it really develops into anything.  
Helpful - 0
572651 tn?1530999357
I really like the healthnewsreview site and their criteria for rating a story - next time I hear one of those "breakthrough" headlines I will go there to check out their rating.

Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Multiple Sclerosis Community

Top Neurology Answerers
987762 tn?1331027953
5265383 tn?1483808356
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499301793
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease