Helping journalists get it right: A physician's guide to improving health care reporting

Karen Stamm, John W. Williams, Polly Hitchcock Noël, Rita Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


News reports are the way that most people, including many physicians and scientists, first learn about new developments in medicine. Because these reports can raise awareness, influence behavior, and confer credibility, physicians should share responsibility with the media for accurate reporting. Physicians can work with reporters to avoid sensationalizing tentative findings, overstating benefits, and making inappropriate generalizations. This article includes pragmatic suggestions for crafting effective news releases and explaining numerical data. It details "rules of the road" for interviews. Working collaboratively with news reporters to improve the quality of medical stories in the lay press benefits patients and physicians alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-145
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003


  • Communication
  • Health education
  • Journalism
  • Mass media
  • Medical
  • Physicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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