Effective clickbait doesn’t just happen. It’s carefully crafted. Take this wildly misleading article from CNN: Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes, and heart disease, study reveals. It’s one example — among many generated daily by various news outlets — of how a mundane observational study can be transformed into viral internet gold. In the days after it was published, this story was liked and shared hundreds ...

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Sanjay Gupta. John Locke. Jill Stein. Charles Krauthammer. What do they all have in common? If you guessed that they are all physicians, then you’re right. Less salient, however, is the fact that all of them pursued passions outside of medicine. (Dr. Gupta is an Emmy Award-winning medical reporter. John Locke was a physician-philosopher. Stein and Krauthammer both made their mark in politics.) In doing so, they avoided an existential trap that ...

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Fifty years ago, in a golden moment of television comedy shows, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In program regularly featured “The Flying Fickle Finger of Fate” award.  Wikipedia says it “recognized actual dubious achievements by public individuals or institutions.” Do a Google search.  You’ll quickly see how popular this award became. Yes, I’m dating myself by going back 50 years.  But mine is the generation that often becomes obsessed with being given “the ...

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In academic medicine, promotion depends on the weight of our curricula vitae, measured primarily by the number of papers we publish in peer-reviewed journals. Physicians strive to jump through the hoops of publishing their work in “top” journals ranked by the “impact factor” (yearly average number of citations for a given journal). Yet the “impact factor” of these journals — even those considered most prestigious and most impactful — is ...

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Houston Chronicle reporter Craig Hlavaty recently treated readers to a first-person account of getting an intravenous (IV) vitamin infusion inside a van parked outside his house. The article, “Feeling the drip, drip, drip of the mobile IV craze,” related how a needle was inserted into his arm, “just where a tattooed lightning bolt strikes.” Hlavaty extolled the cool rush of liquid into his veins: After a few minutes, a great euphoria hits ...

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We live in incredible times. A time when a millennial with a YouTube account clears six-figures a year (sometimes, seven figures!) with just a computer and a webcam. A time when a small-town girl with a love of fashion and an Instagram account can go from Nowheresville, America to front row at New York Fashion Week. A time when the shy girl in the back of the classroom amasses a following of hundreds ...

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A new study confirms something we here at HealthNewsReview.org have been emphasizing for many years: Health news stories often overstate the evidence from a new study, inaccurately claiming that one thing causes another — as in drinking alcohol might help you live longer, facial exercises may keep your cheeks perky, and that diet soda might be a direct line to dementia. The researchers looked at the 50 ...

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If a person is outside of the medical field it can sometimes be difficult for them to perceive what it is like to be a physician. One of the most surprising places to get an inside view of both the personal and professional lives of the people behind the white coat is on TV. Although there are many inaccuracies in TV shows with a medical framework, one thing that a ...

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STAT_Logo Americans believe in experts. We look to CPAs to complete our tax returns, lawyers to handle our disputes, plumbers to fix our pipes. So it baffles me that an astounding number of us turn to movie stars and other celebrities for health advice. Take a recent article in Parents magazine: "Where 13 Celebrity Parents Stand ...

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The internet is an amazing source of information and misinformation. How do you know if what you are reading is accurate? Be a skeptic Last summer we were inundated with alarmist headlines about “dry drowning” after the tragic death of 4-year-old Frankie Delgado, who died days after an apparently harmless dunk under water while swimming off of the coast of Texas. While this child’s death was heart-breaking, the media ...

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