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Center for Health Journalism

William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

William Heisel, former investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, writes about investigative health reporting. He is currently the director of global engagement at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

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Despite their benefits, the use of sensors has stalled amid concerns that inaccurate readings could lead to sidelined players. Some worry games or even careers could be cut short by false positives. But is that a valid objection?
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Last week, Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton got a ton of ink for what were perceived as repeated concussion-threatening hits to the helmet. Why did this story get so much attention?
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A quick primer on the science of how obesity and high cholesterol can break down cartilage and bones, spurring the development of arthritis.
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One of the biggest ways obesity can lead to arthritis is the way it works on joints. The extra pressure that comes with more pounds tends to break down the cartilage in the knees, hips and other joints.

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The link between obesity and arthritis rates is fertile ground for reporters to explore. In areas of the south, the two strongly overlap. Is it possible that obesity is driving arthritis rates in these areas?

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A first-of-its-kind CDC report on arthritis gained hardly any notice in the media recently. Given the prevalence of the disease in the U.S., why aren’t health reporters devoting more coverage to this issue?

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Despite problems with two medical boards, convictions of filing a false tax return and insurance fraud, Dr. Tomas Ballesteros Rios still has his California medical license. Meanwhile, the state's medical board has sent mixed messages.

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Why did the California Medical Board allow Dr. Tomas Ballesteros Rios to continue practicing medicine with few restrictions, despite the doctor’s trouble with the IRS, two felony convictions, fines, and probations?

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In May, Dr. Charles Orlando Lewis finally lost his license to practice medicine. But it's the strange events that led up to the medical board's action that really boggle the mind.

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Our ability to pinpoint the causes behind the big increases in drug overdose deaths in recent years rest largely on one lowly piece of paperwork: the death certificate.

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