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Picture of Neil Versel

Health information technology is a complex and challenging topic to cover, and it's easy to get lost in the jargon. Veteran journalist Neil Versel offers background and story ideas for covering this issue in your community as health reform rolls out. 

Picture of William Heisel

It wasn’t until four years after the first allegations were brought against Dr. Michael E. Stoddard in Colorado that the curtain was pulled back for the patients to see what had been happening on stage.

The scene that the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners’ final decision set, with Stoddard as the main player, was not pretty.

Picture of Manoj Jain

This series took 6 months to prepare. 

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Here are 10 ideas from three journalists talking about how to cover health reform’s rollout at the Association of Health Care Journalists conference in Chicago:

1. Will there be a physician shortage in your area? Start checking in with your local medical school or teaching hospital and the Association of American Medical Colleges and Teaching Hospitals.

Picture of William Heisel

If the ProPublica experiment with nonprofit investigative journalism is teaching us anything, it is the importance of follow-through.

Picture of William Heisel

Reading Dr. Michael E. Stoddard's history of infractions, like so many medical board records in Colorado, is a little like reading Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Each disciplinary document focuses on what happened offstage, omitting key details and leaving the real drama, tragedy, or dark comedy to the imagination.

Picture of William Heisel

When word hit the grapevine that the Madre Maria Ines Teresa Health Center in Santa Ana had prescription painkillers for the asking, the place couldn't keep them in stock.

Picture of William Heisel

Low on cash, his reputation shredded by patient complaints about botched plastic surgeries, Dr. Harrell Robinson must have felt he had a guardian angel when Magdalena Annan approached him.

Annan ran the beatific sounding Madre Maria Ines Teresa Health Center at 1523 Broadway Street in Santa Ana, which targeted Southern California immigrants.

Picture of Mike Tharp

Mike Tharp is the executive editor of the Merced Sun-Star. He attended the Mar. 2010 seminar for the California Health Journalism Fellows as the editor of Fellow Danielle Gaines, where he met the subject of this column, Dr. Edward Newton, chair of Emergency Medicine at the Los Angeles County USC Hospital.

Picture of William Heisel

When your child dies because of mistakes made by a doctor, you can sue. Scott and Kathy Broussard did that when Dr. Andrew Rutland twisted their daughter Jillian Broussard's neck so severely that he separated her head from her spine. Most patients either lose in court or settle their cases. If they settle, they go silent. How many times have you called a patient's family to be told, "We can't talk under the terms of the settlement."? The Broussards settled their case, but that didn't stop them from talking.

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