2 to watch in 2011

Here are two interesting websites to explore in the New Year. Both are dedicated to informing you – as a patient, as a health care provider, as a medical educator, as a researcher. Take a look.

HealthNewsReview.org

(http://healthnewsreview.org/)

This website reviews and rates media stories about health care. Their stated goals are: (1) to improve the accuracy of news stories about medical treatments, tests, products, and procedures; and, (2) to help consumers evaluate the evidence for and against new ideas in health care. The website is transparent about their rating schema and their reviewers. Patients will find it helpful in deciphering medical stories in the news. Health care providers will be alerted to what news stories are out there and how those stories have been presented.

RetractionWatch

(http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/)

This is a blog written by Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky, MD. Marcus is the  managing editor for Anesthesiology News. Oransky is the executive editor of Reuters Health and a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine. The two of them monitor and record retractions in scientific journals. Why? It is often difficult to find this sort of information – it is not well publicized, generally. They want to better understand the retraction process – from how long it takes a journal to retract an article to how long it takes for that information to filter out to the people who use that information. And, finally, because retractions are a window to the scientific process. While patients may not express a great deal of interest in this, educators and researchers will find it worth monitoring.

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