National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Health Issues in the Headlines: Learning to Read Between the Lines

Dark chocolate, red wine, and stem cells - what do these have in common? All have been reported in the news as having health benefits. Often the first place your patrons will hear about health issues is in the media. This interactive, hands-on CE course will introduce participants to the environment of health reporting. Participants will learn about how health is reported in the news as well as how to evaluate the accuracy and validity of science and health stories. The impact of celebrity illness will also be discussed. By the end of this course, participants will be better equipped to help their patrons look more critically at health issues that are being reported in the news media. Actual news articles and research reports will be included for critique.


    At the end of this class, participants will be able to:

    • describe the environment of medical reporting;
    • gain a deeper level of knowledge of the origins of health news stories, including the impact of celebrity illness;
    • gain an understanding of the responsibilities of scientists in conducting and describing their research to the public; and
    • know how to critically evaluate health news stories and the research reports on which they are based.

    Class Handout (November, 2017): Health_Issues_Headlines_handout.pdf

    Course Owner(s):
    Samuel D Watson, Academic Outreach Specialist
    Elizabeth Kiscaden, MLIS, AHIP, Associate Director
    Carolyn Martin, MLS, AHIP, Consumer Health Coordinator
    Bobbi Newman, MLIS, MA, Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist
    Continuing Education:

    This course is approved for 4 MLA CE credits.

    This course meets the following core competencies for CHIS from MLA. 

    • Knowledge of Subject Matter and Resources

    • Evaluation of Health Information

    • Literacy and Health Literacy

    This class is eligible for Consumer Health Information Specialization continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.

    Upcoming Classes

    There are no upcoming classes