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Is it really worth it for doctors and nurses to learn to write well? Some medical schools say yes — but their reasons might surprise you.

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Cutting edge technology may be the game changer in controversial disease.

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Shannon Brownlee offers a not-so-modest proposal for universities to stamp out pharma ghostwriting benefiting researchers.

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While some of the advice in this week's Reynolds Center for Business Journalism webinar series might have been old hat to many freelancers, much of the instruction and discussion was illuminating. Here are some tips for health journalists.

 

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When a company tries to mimic a well-known and respected brand, health journalists should be suspicious. Consider The Harvard Drug Group. Most people hearing about a pharmaceutical wholesaler with that name might assume that it was affiliated with Harvard University. It's not.

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Like writing about abortion or animal rights, writing about vaccines inevitably raises the ire of certain readers. It is not for the timid. Journalist Amy Wallace writes about being sued by an anti-vaccine activist and offers tips for covering this controversial and emotionally-charged topic.
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Misadministration. When a physician has made a horrible mistake with wide-ranging ramifications, the terms "negligence," "malpractice" even "incompetence" might come to mind. Now this wonderful euphemism glides onto the scene, draping the wreckage in a filigree of blamelessness, warding off trial lawyers and investigative journalists.

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Michael F. Cannon is the Cato Institute's director of health policy studies. Previously, he served as a domestic policy analyst for the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee under Chairman Larry E. Craig, where he advised the Senate leadership on health, education, labor, welfare, and the Second Amendment. Mr. Cannon has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox News Channel, and NPR.

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Dr. Anthony Iton was named the senior vice president for health communities at The California Endowment in August 2009. Iton oversees the endowment's 10-year, Building Healthy Communities California Living 2.0 initiative. Prior to joining the endowment, Iton served as director of and health officer for the Alameda County Department of Public Health. He had a state-mandated responsibility to protect the county's health and had authority over all medical care and public health for the county. Previously, Iton was director of health and social services for the city of Stamford, Conn.

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