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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

The nuclear option: Bogdanich drops a bomb on VA hospital

Walt Bogdanich, three-time Pulitzer-winning New York Times reporter, has written a phenomenal story about cancer care at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Philadelphia and tapped into a rich source of material for medical writers: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Q&A with Will Oremus: Why a high-flying doctor was worth pursuing

My fellow contributing editor here at ReportingonHealth, Barbara Feder Ostrov, suggested I might be beating up unnecessarily on Stanford neurosurgeon Dr. Doyle John Borchers III in my post Wednesday.

After all, the poor guy did crash his plane and die. Why go over his alleged drug history?

Here's why. One of my main goals in this blog is to explore all the different places you can find information for health stories.

Contraindications: Dr. Doyle John Borchers

When Stanford University neurosurgeon and amateur pilot Doyle John Borchers III (California License No. 64879) crashed his plane near Lake Tahoe last August, investigators wondered what the hell he was doing flying a plane at night in a mountainous area in the first place.

Borchers, who died in the crash, had been flying sporadically for less than a year and had only flown at night once before - the night before the crash.

Mark Katches: Now Heading Center for Investigative Reporting's California News Project

Devoted fans of Antidote no doubt read my interview with Mark Katches a few weeks ago. Katches was just named the editorial director for the Center for Investigative Reporting's new reporting project in California.

Dropping science: Journalists can check food safety claims in the lab

Food is packaged with a veneer of sincerity. Contents are dutifully itemized along with tables showing the percentage of recommended nutrients, fat content, etc. But there is much that remains a mystery. You are never going to see a candy wrapper that says, "May contain lead."

Contraindications: Dr. Lawrence James Williamson

Every doctor is entitled to a bad day, even a bad week.

Dr. Lawrence James Williamson (California License No. 73495), a family doctor in Windsor, Calif., has been having a very bad year.

In May 2008, Williamson was told he was not entitled to what he apparently thought was a free brunch at a Las Vegas hotel. He did something many denied a free meal have considered doing. He threw a fit, according to the Medical Board of California.

Oprah sells mind-body snake oil to the masses

The June 8 edition of Newsweek has a must-read story about the world's most influential celebrity.

Weston Kosova and Pat Wingert meticulously detail how Oprah Winfrey uses her show, her magazine and her Web site as a platform for some completely loony health advice, including needle-and-thread facelifts, avoiding vaccines, daily hormone injections into the vagina to stop aging and thinking positively as an alternative to surgery.

Q&A with Gary Schwitzer: People need fewer hot fudge sundaes in their health report

Gary Schwitzer is the professor that health reporters fear. With the creation of HealthNewsReview, he has brought back nightmares of having your work marked up in red and posted on a corkboard for everyone to see.

Dirty hands do the devil’s business

A story today out of Nigeria had me thinking about my interview with Father William Cleary last month.

Contraindications: Dr. Michael Charles Edwards

When choosing doctors, people like to know the answers to a few basic questions.

"Do they have the right amount of experience?"

"Are they conveniently located?"

"Do they accept my insurance?"

Somewhere above, "Do they stock Popular Mechanics in the lobby?" and below "Did they go to medical school?" might be these questions:

"Do they abuse drugs?"

"Are they honest?"

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Thanks to groundbreaking new research, we can now see how much private insurance plans are paying for common procedures and per person in communities across the U.S. This webinar will help journalists and policy makers contextualize the private-payer data, discuss possible policy responses, and offer suggestions for how reporters can use this resource to bolster their reporting. Register here.

Interested in learning more about the health, education and social challenges children face as a result of poverty and adversity?  Apply now for the 2016 National Health Journalism Fellowship, which comes with $2,000-$10,000 reporting grant, five days of intensive all-expenses-paid traing in L.A., and six months of mentoring. Details here.

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