Many physicians have had the experience of having to explain why the latest press report wasn’t quite right – or even outright wrong. A new website is bringing a critical eye to magazine and newspaper reports. Created by University of Minnesota journalism Professor Gary Schwitzer, who fashioned the site after similar efforts in Australia and Canada, a team of 20 reviewers will rate articles from 1 to 5 stars. The Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, a non-profit organization that helps patients choose treatments for various medical conditions, is a partner in the project. Access to the site and its findings is free to consumers.
“For consumers, we hope it will help them improve their critical thinking about claims in health care,” said Schwitzer, who directs a graduate program in health care journalism.
The San Jose Mercury News article is a good background piece.