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