How to spot fake health and medical news

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Good morning and welcome back I enjoy my dr. Casey Harbin for another edition of morning rounds thanks for joining us again today yeah thank you today sniffing out fake the medical news all right we hear a lot about fake news lately what about fake medical news well I think the important thing just you know to mention when we talk about fake medical news or fake news in general sometimes there’s a little bit of truth in it and maybe it’s just skewed in a way or presented in a way that that is overly dramatizing the finding sometimes it’s just plain wrong and these are things that get repeated and propagated in our social media and or conversation and it’s important to know what’s true and what’s not how is it a problem well just like you know we’re all subject to it right right you all have our own opinions or our own subjective beliefs that we believe that we take in to anything that we read and consume but the problem is this is really when we start propagating and we start sharing it with other people and then it becomes this wildfire of sorts of wrong information think for example back in the 1980s with with the AIDS epidemic there are all sorts of bad information getting out there about how we come trackdays or with Ebola a couple years ago I remember people think if they touched a doorknob they would get Ebola No and and more commonly we see it with things like immunizations and things like that where people propagate non-science information and it’s so easy to spread now in social media so how can we spot fake medical news I think it’s important just in general to always be suspicious always be skeptical if something sounds kind of like wow that’s different then it probably is not right you should you should be sensitive to that and you should investigate beware statistics if if a study is presented and they say they whatever act diet reduced heart attacks by half well were there only two participants in the trial and one of them got a heart attack and one of them didn’t when they say something statistically significant keep in mind that has nothing to do with whether or not as Clin please significant also remember that Association is not causation just because something is associated with it you know does not mean in any way shape or form then it causes the problem and they ask yourself is this journal is this website is this group that’s presenting the information and they reputable right you know I mean is there what we call peer review or an editorial board or someone who double checks what they’re representing and then also ask yourself who funded this information if coca-cola is doing a study on whether or not childhood obesity is related to vending machines in schools you should ask yourself if the results of that study are valid because maybe they have different interests in there so what can you do then if you here read something that you find suspicious you know my first step is to stop and do a quick internet shirts I had a friend recently and posted some information about a vaccine that I give my children with some alarming results I was like oh my gosh is this really happening it took me about five minutes to kind of realize that this was not good information out there it was not scientifically sound and it’s really not very hard to go a couple extra steps and and do some fact-checking yourself so along with that any other recommendations you have I think it’s important for us all in general to fight confirmation bias so that’s like if you believe that fluoridated drinking water is bad you only read articles that support that likewise if you’re a big immunization proponent you know it’s important to read what other people are saying about it and it’s in general with news it’s important to get the other side so we can have better discussions and openly talk about the good and the bad be skeptical take the five minutes to do the research on yourself and be careful what you spread on the Internet be your own editor alright well thank you so much for joining us for that’s this edition of morning rounds if you’d like to send us a question you can do it by emailing us morning rounds at k-pax

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