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April 22/29, 1998

Providing a Tool for Physicians to Educate Patients: The JAMA Patient Page

JAMA. 1998;279(16):1309. doi:10.1001/jama.279.16.1309

The public has a strong interest in medical and health news. A recent survey for the National Health Council1 found that three quarters of Americans pay a "moderate amount" or a "great deal" of attention to medical and health news. Many survey respondents said the media do a good (47%) or excellent (5%) job of reporting medical and health news, but others rated the overall quality of health and medical news as only "fair" (37%) or even "poor" (9%), with concerns about the credibility of news sources; biased, sensational, or inaccurate coverage; and contradictory or confusing stories. Another noteworthy finding from the survey was that physicians were by far the most common resource for further information about medical news reports.