FOR UNDERSTANDING POPULAR
Scientific advances continue to
increase and the amount of information available to the media
and the public is staggering. No doubt - all this
medical information, for which we have easy access,
can be confusing. Not only do medical news stories often
use jargon that only trained professionals can understand,
entire concepts are not always explained in a clear and concise
way so that the average reader can understand them.
The information and Internet links provided in this section
can help you gain a better understanding of medical information
so that you can use the knowledge to become a more informed
patient and to communicate more effectively with your doctor
and other health professionals.
Guide to Taking Charge of Medical Information
developed by the Harvard School of Public Health, helps consumers
can understand terms and concepts often used in medical news
stories. Written in a humorous style, it also helps
the reader understand the concept of “risk” and offers
tips to determine if the source of the information is reliable.
will help you learn the specialized language of health professionals
and to understand the medical shorthand doctors use when writing
out a prescription. The guide is published by the Medical
was designed to help journalists develop more critical appraisal
skills when writing a story on health or medicine. It also
offers guidance to consumers to help them evaluate the medical
and research news reported in the various media. News
from about fifty different media is monitored and each story
is given a score based on certain criteria. The site
was developed by the University of Minnesota School
of Journalism & Mass Communication and the Foundation
for Informed Medical Decision Making. Read the
“About” section and also the section on “How We Rate Stories”.
News on Diet and Nutrition
all the conflicting stories about what’s good to eat and what’s
not? This site by the Harvard School of Public Health
will help you understand why there is often conflicting information
reported in studies on diet and nutrition. It also describes
in easy to understand language the different types of studies
and offers advice on deciphering media stories on diet and
Risk: What Do Those Headlines Really Mean
are often sensationalized to attract readers and viewers.
How often have you heard or seen a news headline only to find
out after reading the story that the headline was misleading?
This fact sheet from the National Institute on Aging will
help improve your understanding of these stories and to better
judge the results that are really important and ones that
are interesting but not a reason to change how you take care