Improving the Accuracy of Medical News Reporting
Media Doctor Canada








what do you think?

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site feedback

(09 Jan 2022) Alex Moll writes,

"Hi there,

I read about this site in 'Canadian Doctor' - Winter 2007 edition. I love the idea of the site and the potential to educate and assist in interpreting and appreciating medical information published in the popular media. I will add the link to my medical website for patients:

I welcome the opportunity to make a couple of constructive comments.

I found the most useful, captivating and 'meaty' componentof the reviews in the "What we said" section & I would suggest that you include either this in its entirety, or at least a 'hook' - an eyecatching exerpt - on the main page where the article is cited.
The 'Criteria' section takes a lot of space and is not particularly useful or informative
The source link e.g. Vancouver Sun is overly prominent &* distracting. It suggests that a click on this will take the reader to the source article ( which it does not). I would suggest this be cited in smaller type at the bottom of the article extract, after the "read more" link , which should be more prominent.
The star system could be made more fun with an eye-catching score system at the top of the page e.g * - 1 star - very misleading, some incorrect information, bad medical journalism - etc.etc. Something along these lines, to capture the imagination a bit.
Prominently displayed Disease-specifc, drug-specific, drug-class specific, search process options may encourage readers to dig into your data-base more frequently.

I am looking forward to following your site in the futureand will ask patients for comments,

All the Best for 2007

Alex Moll"
(this comment has been moderated)

Media Doctor response,

"Alex, thanks for all your helpful comments. I'll pass them on to the team to see if they might want to adopt some of your suggestions. We are trying to be 'somewhat' in line with our sister sites in the US and Australia but you have given us some good comments to chew on.

(16 Dec 2021) Michel Rochon from Radio-Canada writes,


I am a science and medical journalist working for Decouverte, the weekly television science show of the French CBC in Montreal. I discovered your site during my Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT where they showed us the Your site is a very good start for a Canadian version. As always (this is Canada!), I will be the French Canadian to tell you that it would be great to add some good French speaking Canadian media to your list, or, as it is too often the case, we will have to start a! Bravo for the initiative and I will consult your site weekly!"

Media Doctor response,

"Thank you very much for your response. It was always our intention to add the French component to our site once the English version was established. We will do this once we have the funds to do so. If there are particular health-related news sources you think we should monitor, please let us know."

(08 Dec 2021) Fred and Maye Green writes,

"Special thanks to Alan Cassels for all the wonderful articles he has written for COMMON GROUND.

If only we had 100 more Alan Cassels to overwhelm the media and lead us out of the Big Pharma nightmare and bankruptcy of our federal Government and each and every one of our Provinces, all under the phoney and criminal guise of providing HEALTH CARE."

Media Doctor response,

"Thanks for the kind comments. Media Doctor is about trying to improve the standards of medical journalism and to make our use of medicine more rational and appropriate. In that way we hope it's making a difference."

(07 Sep 2022) Lorna Hillman from BC MInistry of Health writes,

"Am I slow! I've never seen this web site before and it's great. I've always had a problem with how the media reports on health issues - in particular food and nutrition, but now with the increasing American advertising for pharmacueticals, this is so important to dispell myths and incorrect information. I will ensure all my contacts know about this web site. Thank you for the great work and service to the public."

Media Doctor response,

"Thank you Ms. Hillman for your comments. Be sure to alert your colleages to our sister sites in the US and Australia. As well, Hitting the Headlines in the UK
is worth a look and does some excellent examination of health issues in the news."

(19 Jun 2022) Bonnie Friesen from Usana Health Sciences writes,

"I am so thankful to see more and more doctors who have the honesty and integrity to question the use of many of the drugs that are being prescribed today. We are given physical and emotional pain for a reason. Our body is trying to tell us something. Masking the pain with powerful medications and mind altering drugs can have a disastrous effect on our lives. Patients must be willing to examine their entire lifestyle and realize that, as with everything, we eventually do reap what we sew. I am encouraged by this website and applaud every doctor who makes a decision not to be wined and dined by the pharmaceutical companies. I would like to see hospitals take the holistic approach that Dr. Wentz is taking at Sanoviv. We need more doctors and scientists who will follow his example.

Thank you for your commitment. I trust that one day we will all get to live with 'true' health.

Bonnie Friesen,
Richmond, B.C."

Media Doctor response,

"I am not sure if physicians are more questioning of the drugs they prescribe, but it is our hope that physicians, patients and journalists are asking appropriate questions about those treatments so they can be used in an informed way."

(01 Jan 2022) Helen Ayers from Retired R.N. writes,

"I heard about your site on CBC and was interested in finding a reference for the results of a study I had also heard about on CBC within the last three/four months.

This was regarding the lack of proven efficacy of Glucosamine in the treatment of arthritis. Using the search tool on your site I was unable to find any reference. It has always been a concern of the nursing profession that more medications are taken on the media hype and unpaid advertising than on the clinical trial results. Love your site for its objective - keep up the good work."

(22 Dec 2021) Ben writes,

"Nice work! The sensationalization of biological and health issues via poor reporting practices in the media is a tragedy! I hope your initiative helps encourage the media to improve the quality of their work.

I just heard your representative on CBC radio. Perhaps 6 to 12 months ago, the CBC did a report on animal versus human insulin. They reported on the absolute number of adverse reactions reported in the health canada database for each type of the drug--as opposed to comparable rates between the two types of insulin. They also shared this information with--as I recall--a diabetic patient that was very very interested in the issue. It was disturbing because the interviewee became quite worked up as a result of what she'd learned--even though the report provided nothing but absolute numbers of adverse reactions without any mention of how frequently each type is perscribed. Clearly, the reporter had no basic knowledge of statistics and may--or by luck perhaps he didn't--sensationalize the risks of insulin.

I'm an avid listener of the CBC,At any rate. If you ever get the chance to talk to the CBC again, look up this incident and use it as an example. Hopefully it will encourage them to improve their reporting."
(this comment has been moderated)

Media Doctor response,

"I didn't hear the report you are referring to but you are right that absoulte numbers alone can be misleading. One problem is that Adverse Reports of drugs are made voluntarily and Health Canada reports in terms of absolute numbers of incidents collected which doesn't give anyone any good sense of the overall frequency with which these adverse reactions may happen. As well, ADR reports are based on association and cannot be proof of causation."

(21 Dec 2021) Richard Eriksson writes,

"I'm wondering if there are any RSS feeds for Media Doctor. I'd love to have one for each media outlet, plus one for the main page, and possibly even one for each rating."

Media Doctor response,

"I'm sorry. I would also like to see such feeds but at this moment we are unable to do RSS feeds because of the potential for copyright/liability issues. When possible we put the internet link to the story. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Alan Cassels"

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