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Dr. Lipson writes his own blog called White Coat Underground, contributes and helps edit at Science-Based Medicine, and contributes to The Science Business Blog at Forbes.com where this piece originally appeared.

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A new Health Affairs interview with California HealthCare Foundation CEO Dr. Mark Smith caught my eye because if you read closely, you can find some intriguing new story ideas for journalists interested in health.

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When I was a kid, my parents gave me an Isaac Asimov book.  I don't remember which one, but it was non-fiction, and his way of engaging the reader directly immediately drew me in.  Several years later I found the works of Stephen Jay Gould.  I dug up every book of his I could find and ended up getting the hardcover of each new collection as it was published.

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Part 1: Innovative ways are sought to get patients to follow their treatment 

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C'mon, Times, it's not like you're some kind of penny-ante operation. You've got at least modest resources, you know like the internet and telephones to call up experts. Right?

I don't know whether it's a lack of resources, laziness, or ignorance that allows pieces like this one into the paper, but it doesn't change the craptastic nature of the piece.

The byline says:

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Deadlines to apply for workshops at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting are approaching.

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Freelance journalist Martha Rosenberg recently made an interesting comparison between embattled drug giant Wyeth and former insurance giant AIG. The latter famously handed out massive bonuses and planned lavish company retreats at a time when the company was receiving billions in federal bailout funds.

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In June 2002, Dr. David F. Archer had a paper published under his name that reassured women everywhere that they could take antibiotics and birth control pills at the same time and not worry about pregnancy. The article was music to the ears of executives at Wyeth, the drug company giant.

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Robert Davis, Ph.D., M.P.H. is on a mission: Reporters need to put on their skeptics' hats when they report on the latest and greatest in medical research.

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It’s not as seductive as a candlelit bedroom.

But a dinner with medical colleagues after a board meeting can exert a powerful a pull on talented scientists flirting with the drug industry. Rarely one-on-ones, these dinners are usually threesomes:

1. The seducer: a representative for a medical communications company that has been hired by a drug company to help market a particular product or disease in need of new cures being cooked up by the company.

2. The object of seduction: a researcher with known expertise in the company’s target area.

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The nation’s overdose epidemic has entered a devastating new phase. Drugs laced with fentanyl and even more poisonous synthetics have flooded the streets, as the crisis spreads well beyond the rural, largely white communities that initially drew attention. The death rate is escalating twice as fast among Black people than among white people. This webinar will give journalists deep insights, fresh story ideas and practical tips for covering an epidemic that killed more than 107,000 people in the U.S. last year. Sign-up here!

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