Gary Schwitzer has specialized in health care journalism for nearly 50 years. He is founder and publisher of the website, once leading a team of about 50 people who graded daily health news reporting by major U.S. news organizations, and who also graded health care PR news releases.  The project won a Knight-Batten Award for Innovations in Journalism. For nine years he taught health journalism and media ethics at the University of Minnesota. He is now an Adjunct Associate Professor in the university's School of Public Health. Gary worked in television medical news for 15 years – including being in charge of the CNN medical news unit.  

The Kaiser Family Foundation published his 2009 report on the state of U.S. health journalism.   In 2010, he wrote “Covering Medical Research: A Guide For Reporting on Studies” for members of the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ).

His articles on health journalism have appeared in many different publications, including the Columbia Journalism Review, Nieman Reports, the website, the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA Internal Medicine, BMJ, PLoS Medicine, and the newsletters and websites of the Association of Health Care Journalists and of the American Society of News Editors. 

He has led health journalism workshops at 10 consecutive AHCJ national conferences, at the NIH Medicine in the Media series, at the MIT Medical Evidence boot camps, and internationally for National Cancer Institute (NCI) workshops in Rio de Janeiro, Guadalajara, San Juan, Beijing, and in New Delhi and Mumbai, India.

He gave a keynote address at the International Shared Decision Making conference in Lima, Peru in 2013 and delivered a plenary address at the National Medicines Symposium in Brisbane, Australia in 2014.

In 2014, he was named one of 25 Champions of Shared Decision Making by the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation.  Also in 2014, the American Medical Writers Association honored him with the McGovern Award for preeminent contributions to medical communication. In 2016, Rodale, Inc. named him to its inaugural “Rodale 100″ list of “innovators who are changing the face of the health and wellness universe.”


The harm from misleading media messages about health care is very real. But by putting a human face and voice to these harms, we can begin to correct some of these wrongs, explains's Gary Schwitzer.

“Between the Lines: Finding the Truth in Medical Literature,” by Marya Zilberberg, MD, MPH, and “The Patient Paradox: Why sexed-up medicine is bad for your health,” by Margaret McCartney, MD, are two books to add your reading list.