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Minnesota

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Even in his infamy, Dr. Daniel Carlat, founder of The Carlat Psychiatry Report, is popular with drug companies. Carlat was invited recently by Schering-Plough to help promote a new drug.

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If Congress and President Barack Obama decide the responsibility for health insurance falls on the shoulders of individual Americans, all of us might want to pay more attention to what's going on now in the individual insurance market and to what's promised in the legislation. If having no insurance is considered rock-bottom, having individual insurance is the next floor up. Some call it "house insurance," thinking that by having it they won't lose their homes to pay for a catastrophic illness.

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Public Citizen put together an important report in May that was mostly missed by the press (including me).

It's a comprehensive and critical investigation of The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), created by the Health Care Quality Improvement Act 19 years ago, ostensibly to protect patients from rogue doctors.

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This story attempts to bust through the stereotypes about uninsured people in Minnesota, which has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the nation.

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Gary Schwitzer is the professor that health reporters fear. With the creation of HealthNewsReview, he has brought back nightmares of having your work marked up in red and posted on a corkboard for everyone to see.

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Journalists - particularly those in rural areas - will definitely want to follow the epidemiological investigation of swine flu that struck a nine-year-old Imperial County girl and a 10-year-old boy in adjacent San Diego County.The kids are fine now, but public health officials have never before seen this strain of swine flu in the United States. Here is the AP story.

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Update: Dr. Gupta removed himself from the list of candidates on March 5, telling CNN's Larry King, "I think for me it really came down to a sense of timing more than anything else. This job...takes us away from our children for so many years at once, and I sort of came to grips that I'd probably be away for several years of their lives."

Dr. Sanjay Gupta appears to be the first surgeon general picked not for his public service but for his public image.

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This story, pegged to new research on dual mastectomy rates, examines why some breast cancer patients choose to have both breasts removed even if it may not improve their survival.

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Ms. Zoua Vang is First 5 Fresno County's advocacy/PR coordinator. She joined First 5 Fresno County in January 2005. Ms. Vang handles First 5 Fresno's internal and external communications and helps to craft as well as promote the agency's advocacy platforms. She holds bachelor's degrees in broadcast journalism and history. Before joining First 5 Fresno, Ms. Vang spent more than five years producing award-winning stories as a reporter and anchor at KSEE-TV (the NBC affiliate in Fresno). Prior to KSEE-TV, she worked as a reporter-trainee at KSTP-TV (the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis, Minn.).

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