Every day the news is full of health stories, but it can be difficult to know whether these stories are accurate or not. When reading news stories, keep these points in mind:
- Is it Really News? Companies may issue press releases that appear to be news stories and sometimes are even run as news stories by news outlets, particularly internet-only news outlets. Also, beware of infomercials that pretend to be news shows.
- Not So Fast! It may be years before new drugs are in use because of lengthy testing and review by the Federal Drug Administration. New surgical procedures need to be examined for long term safety and effectiveness and surgeons need to be trained before they are available.
- Study Up. News stories may exaggerate results or misinterpret results from studies.
- Check with your Doc. Discuss with your doctor any stories you have seen in the news that you think might apply to your health.
So, what can you do to be well-informed? Get your health news from reliable sources. Here are a few suggestions:
This website’s medical contributors review news stories for accuracy.
Ask Us! If you have seen a health story in the news and want to find out more information, contact the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center at 802-847-8821 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us in the Main Pavilion, 3rd Level of the Ambulatory Care Center at the Medical Center Campus.
Alan Lampson, M.L.S., is a medical librarian and is lead of the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center at the UVM Medical Center.