Note to our followers: Our nearly 13-year run of daily publication of new content on came to a close at the end of 2018. Publisher Gary Schwitzer and other contributors may post new articles periodically. But all of the 6,000+ articles we have published contain lessons to help you improve your critical thinking about health care interventions. And those will be still be alive on the site for a couple of years.
These podcasts are driven by our passion for improving the public dialogue about health care. You’ll hear from leading physicians, researchers, and journalists. But you’ll also hear patient stories, some of them talking about how they were harmed by misleading media messages.

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Podcast: ChemoBrainFog blogger criticizes celebrity breast cancer news

Once AnneMarie Ciccarella gets going, there’s no stopping her. You may get a rant, and you may get more than you bargained for.

But you’ll definitely get a smart patient’s perspective about what’s wrong with a lot of media messages about breast cancer – especially messages from some celebrities about their breast cancer experiences. On Twitter, where she Tweets as @chemobrainfog, she describes herself as “Fierce advocate, activist, blogger.

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Podcast: 4 decades of solid medical science journalism by Sharon Begley

As I look around after my own 40+ years in health care journalism, I don’t see many others still plowing away at these topics for as long as I have. But today we profile one. In another of our series of podcasts profiling standouts in health/medical/science journalism, you have the chance to hear from Sharon Begley – someone who has been a class act with an outstanding body of work for nearly 40 years.

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1 4/13/2016

Podcast: 10th anniversary for

In the spring of 2005, then-president Jack Fowler of the then-Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making (FIMDM) approached me looking for ideas. He wanted to bring ideas to his Board about how to reach the broader patient population beyond those that FIMDM was reaching with its condition-specific shared decision-making programs (which I had helped produce throughout the ’90s as an employee of FIMDM based at Dartmouth Medical School).

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1 4/6/2016

Podcast: ABC stations mislead patients with “migraine treatment” news

The world needs more smart patient advocates.

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1 2/22/2016

Podcast: John Fauber – investigative health care reporter

Anyone who follows health care news should pause for a moment and look at the body of work that John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has built – especially in just the past seven years. (Fauber’s work is also seen on MedPage Today in a partnership arrangement.) There is much that other health care journalists could learn from that work, and, more importantly, there is much that health care consumers and news consumers can learn from that work.

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Podcast: Rare disease foundation says medical journal misled patients

This is the second in an unplanned, occasional series about real people who are harmed by inaccurate, imbalanced, incomplete, misleading media messages. The first was about a man with glioblastoma brain cancer.

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Podcast: Christie Aschwanden – 1st in our series on standouts in health care journalism

In our podcast series, we’re giving you a chance to hear directly from newsmakers, and from some who maybe should be in the news but aren’t. But we also want to occasionally feature some news reporters.

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Podcast: Real harm to real people from shoddy PR news releases

News consumers are often unaware of how much of what they read is dominated by – and may, in fact, be simply a minimal re-write of – PR news releases written by people whose job it is to make their institution, their faculty, their ideas, their research or their products look as good as they possibly can.

Today, probably more than ever, many supposedly independently-vetted news stories are actually just mirror images of PR news releases.

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1 12/28/2015

Podcast: A gold medal year as we approach our 10th anniversary

2015 was a gold medal year for – and for our users as well, we hope.

One year ago today, this project had no operating budget. I was keeping the site going by myself with only occasional blog posts. I had no funds to work on the website, to do team-driven systematic news story reviews, to expand, or to do different things, or to pay anybody anything.

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Podcast: Jennifer Miller, PhD & the Good Pharma Scorecard

I heard Jennifer Miller, PhD, use four numbers to discuss growing distrust of the drug industry: 12…70…1…17.

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Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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