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Posted on Jan 16, 2005 in Articles

From Soda to Penis Reconstruction: A Summer at ABC News Medical Unit

From Soda to Penis Reconstruction: A Summer at ABC News Medical Unit

During the summer after I finished my Master’s a MIT, I had the privileged of interning at ABC News’ Medical Unit in Needham, MA. We were the support staff for Dr. Tim Johnson and all ABC news programs that had a medical story to cover. It was a fascinating inside look at how medical stories are selected and then turned into video segments for various TV programs.

A team of writers, many of whom also have advanced degrees (MD’s, PhD’s), wade through huge stacks of journals and press releases to find important or otherwise fascinating bits of research to report on. A database of experts on the subject is then consulted to weigh in on the the topic, and a list of top stories for the day is compiled and circulated to the producers of all the news programs. they get back to the Medical Unit on which stories they’d like to pursue and we would then help to set up interviews and shoots.

This was all back in 2005, so I’m not sure if that’s still how they run things today. It was a great experience in quick turnaround times and understanding how and why certain stories get elevated to the level of “newsworthy”.

Below are some of the articles I got to write for abcnews.com.

Obesity Concerns Prompt Call for Soda Warning Labels

You Know More Than You Might Recall

Shingles Vaccine Shows Promise

Health Experts Fear Possible Tuberculosis Resurgence

Surgeons Construct New Penis for Cancer-Stricken Man

Do Parents or Doctors Have Final Say?

Men Can Also Offer Their Babies a Nipple

Women’s Health Fears Often Don’t Line Up With Reality

Women’s Libido Is Tough to Tackle

Breast Cancer Study Finds All Lumps Aren’t Created Equal