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The Year in Medical Journalism: A Chat with Gary Schwitzer of HealthNewsReview.org

Aired on Monday, December 19th.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we look back on the best and worst medical journalism of 2016 with Gary Schwitzer, the founder and publisher of the website HealthNewsReview.org. This website offers a daily appraisal of health-related reporting by major U.S. news outlets and organizations. Schwitzer has worked in various forms of health care journalism/communication for the past 40+ years; he knows this aspect of the medical world like no one else. Here are two stories that we spoke with him about at the outset of our show: the controversial ads for the anti-cancer drug Opdivo and the alleged "link" between proton pump inhibitors and dementia. We also spoke with Schwitzer in detail about a "special" chocolate milk that -- according to its hyperbolic press release -- purportedly helped to reduce concussions amid high school football players. (!) Finally, we noted the standout medical journalism of John Fauber at The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Christie Aschwanden at FiveThirtyEight.com, Julie Belluz at Vox.com, Sharon Begley at STAT News, and certain other intrepid reporters and writers.

Rich Fisher passed through KWGS about thirty years ago, and just never left. Today, he is the general manager of Public Radio Tulsa, and the host of KWGS’s public affairs program, StudioTulsa, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary in August 2012 . As host of StudioTulsa, Rich has conducted roughly four thousand long-form interviews with local, national, and international figures in the arts, humanities, sciences, and government. Very few interviews have gone smoothly. Despite this, he has been honored for his work by several organizations including the Governor's Arts Award for Media by the State Arts Council, a Harwelden Award from the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa, and was named one of the “99 Great Things About Oklahoma” in 2000 by Oklahoma Today magazine.
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