ABC News Medical Resident Elective
It has been a few months now since I did the ABC News Medical Resident elective, and I wanted to share a little more about my time there, as well as invite you to apply to rotate through ABC News too!
Back in February I spent three weeks embedded in the ABC News Medical Unit (read my intro post here). My main tasks included attending the morning meetings for Good Morning America (GMA) and World News Tonight with my boss and medical editor, Dan Childs, and then reading embargoed journal articles that were going to be published in the next few days to decide whether or not they would be good for TV news. I also got to accompany the former medical correspondent Dr. Richard Besser to show tapings at GMA. That was a lot of fun because I got to see some of the GMA anchors in action!
One of the pieces that ABC News did while I was interning there was the following piece on a dermatologist in Florida who was fined up to $18 million for Medicare payments charged on patients who may not have actually needed or received the treatments he allegedly gave. Since this fell into the world of dermatology I also helped out with some of the research. It was interesting to watch as the story evolved over the course of the day as more pieces of the story fell into place. Different editors worked together on the script, talked to former patients, and did interviews with other people such as the whistleblower in this case, former NYU dermatology graduate Dr. Schiff, a Mohs surgeon in Florida. Slowly the outline of the piece came together and the team finished the piece within 1 day!
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I also had the chance to review a journal article prior to publication and write an article for ABC online. This journal article summarized the research surrounding health fads such as juice cleanses and gluten-free diets. I really liked this article because I’m never one to just go with popular opinion on health issues; as you all already know, I want to make sure the scientific evidence is actually sound before we all jump on the bandwagon! I also wrote the accompanying script for the video that went with the article. Check it out below:
If you are interested in medical journalism and seeing how ABC News works, submit an application here. It is an unpaid internship and you have to find your own housing, but it’s a once in a lifetime chance to be embedded in the medical unit at a major national news network. It was a fun experience and I learned a lot about what makes or breaks a medical story! Good luck.