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March 3, 1989

Physicians and Journalists

Author Affiliations

Sacramento (Calif) Bee

Sacramento (Calif) Bee

JAMA. 1989;261(9):1280. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420090044026

To the Editor. —  As a medical writer for a large California newspaper I was most disappointed to read the report in the Aug 8 issue of The Journal about the Case Western Reserve conference on journalism and ethics, at which the journalists apparently agreed that training researchers to deal with the media was a bad idea.1In the course of interviewing hundreds of medical clinicians and researchers, I occasionally have found one who understands what reporters need. More often I find them ignorant of our methods and, as a consequence, afraid of encounters with us.To suggest, as my colleagues apparently did, that training physicians to deal with journalists will create a group of media-savvy physicians who would manipulate the media is absurd. There is already such a group actively doing just that. There is a much larger and growing group of physicians who refuse to take media