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Utah

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Prescription drug abuse is growing nationwide, but West Virginia was one of the first places hit by the problem. When I picked this topic, I didn't realize how complex it was. The drugs are widely available. Doctors are struggling to treat pain with effective medications without supplying drug abusers. And prescription drug crimes have proven difficult to prosecute.

This is the first in a four-part series examining prescription drug abuse in West Virginia.

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Utah is considered one of the healthiest states in the nation — but not everyone benefits. This is part two in a series examines the wide disparities in health based on residents’ education, ethnicity and environment.

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In a state that prides itself as one of the healthiest in the nation, the people of western Salt Lake City face geographic health disparities that are daunting to overcome, including higher pollution and asthma rates.

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Medical boards from coast to coast are inconsistent, inefficient and ill equipped to monitor the hundreds of thousands of doctors licensed under their watch, Antidote’s investigation of every state board has found. There are some standouts, but, overall, they do a terrible job protecting patients and informing the public.

It bears repeating that most doctors do a great job and are focused on one thing: helping their patients heal and lead healthier lives. The mission of this tour was to explore what happens to that minority of doctors who don’t follow the rules.

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Medical boards are racing to see who can set the loosest limits on doctors disciplined for inappropriate conduct with female patients.

The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners set the age limit at 60 for women there. If you are under 60, the disciplined doctor needs to have a chaperone in the room. Over 60, it’s a free-for-all. But the Utah Medical Board did Louisiana a few decades better.

Picture of William Heisel

Take away an artist’s paints. She may just use her fingers.

Take away a chef’s knives. He may opt to smash, grate or whip the ingredients instead.

But what if you are a doctor and the medical board takes away your ability to perform facelifts, liposuction, breast augmentation and tummy tucks?

If you are Dr. Carl Freeman Wurster in Boise, you beg.

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Most journalists don't pay much attention to their local "medically indigent" program, which offers health care to poor people who don't qualify for Medicaid or other government programs. But that's one of the local programs that could be at risk under health reform.

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Reforms unlikely to defeat obesity

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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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The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

Nowhere was the massive COVID wave of winter 2021 more devastating than in America’s nursing homes, where 71,000 residents died in the surge. In this webinar, we’ll hear from the lead reporter in the USA Today series "Dying for Care," who will show how an original data analysis and an exhaustive reporting effort revealed a pattern of unnecessary deaths that compounded the pandemic’s brutal toll. Sign-up here!

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