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At first, investigating what kind of discipline the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board was meting out to physicians in response to complaints seemed like a straightforward records search. But it ended up being a more complicated process.

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The American Red Cross, the largest supplier of donated blood in the U.S., was fined $9.6 million after federal inspectors found hundreds of blood safety violations at 16 of the organization’s 36 blood collection centers nationwide.

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Every time Public Citizen ranks state medical boards for their effectiveness, some official will say that it is an unfair assessment because state boards all work differently in overseeing doctors. This is partly true — and it is also part of the problem.

 

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I started listing my favorite stories of the past year, in no particular order, on Dec. 21. Here is the rest of the list.

At VA Hospital, A Rogue Cancer Unit,” Walt Bogdanich, The New York Times

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Follow the money. That simple phrase – though never uttered by Bob Woodward’s most famous source – has propelled countless reporters to dig deeply into all manner of news stories.

And nearly four decades after Woodward and Carl B

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Dr. Sidney Wolfe, the acting president of Public Citizen and the head of its Health Research Group, is a guy you don't want to have as an opponent. He has an encyclopedic command of the facts and a delivery that manages to be both gracious and a little intimidating.

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