Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "physicians" ...

  • CNN Exclusive: The more opioids doctors prescribe, the more money they make

    As tens of thousands of Americans die from prescription opioid overdoses each year, an exclusive analysis by CNN and researchers at Harvard University found that opioid manufacturers are paying physicians huge sums of money -- and the more opioids a doctor prescribes, the more money he or she makes. In 2014 and 2015, opioid manufacturers paid hundreds of doctors across the country six-figure sums for speaking, consulting and other services. Thousands of other doctors were paid over $25,000 during that time. Physicians who prescribed particularly large amounts of the drugs were the most likely to get paid.
  • CBC Radio: #MeToo in Medicine

    The #MeToo in Medicine breaks the code of silence in healthcare to expose the hierarchical culture of medicine which allows for those in senior positions to sexually harass and abuse their junior colleagues. The story profiles two physicians who speak out for the first time about how they were sexually harassed on the job by their superiors.
  • Dollars for Docs

    ProPublica first published Dollars for Docs, our comprehensive database of payments to doctors made by pharmaceutical companies for speaking, consulting, etc., in 2010. Millions of people have looked up their doctors, and hundreds of news organizations have used the data to tell important investigative stories. But it was only this year that, thanks to some painstaking work, we were able to match pharmaceutical payments with prescribing habits. And our findings were dispositive: Doctors who take payments tend to prescribe more brand-name drugs. Moreover, thousands of doctors who have had disciplinary actions against them by their state licensing boards are still getting pharma payments, and a greater share of physicians who work at for-profit hospitals take payments compared to those working at nonprofit or government facilities. https://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/ https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/d4d-hospital-lookup
  • Ghost Panels

    The VA continues to struggle to deliver timely, quality, healthcare to veterans despite the publicity and subsequent reforms initiated by the 2014 scandal. Case in point:The VA medical system in St. Cloud, Minnesota. It's where 30 year old Ross Cameron bounced from one physician to another as he desperately tried to get help for a deep depression and PTSD. He wife says he never got the full attention he needed. Then one day he took his own life by driving into a tree at a hundred miles an hour. The St. Cloud VA is also where Doug Larson nearly died because a provider made a huge mistake. This series of reports documents the turmoil within the hospital which triggered an exodus of physicians and nurses, and the impact the staffing shortages are having on veterans healthcare.
  • Ailing Oversight

    The Honolulu Star-Advertiser compared a database of Hawaii licensed physicians with discipline data from the 49 other states. The reporters found dozens of examples of doctors who were disciplined elsewhere and either received new licenses in Hawaii or kept their existing medical licenses for years without sanctions here. http://data.staradvertiser.com/docs
  • Trail of Troubles

    One doctor’s sexual assault charges led reporter Scott Dance to uncover the state’s lack of oversight of the criminal backgrounds of Maryland’s doctors. Maryland does not conduct criminal background checks of its doctors despite at least one attempt to require them. Dr. William Dando was one doctor who fell through the cracks. He was convicted of rape in the 1980s, and came to Maryland to pursue his medical career after his release. Fast forward to 2014, and the same doctor was accused of sexually assaulting several patients. Dance traced Dando’s time in Maryland and all of the ways his past could have been discovered, but state regulatory agencies and medical boards failed to investigate. After Dance’s articles appeared, Dando agreed to give up his license so that Maryland charges would be dropped, an inspector general highlighted flaws in licensing procedures,and the Maryland Board of Physicians proposed legislation to require background checks.
  • Doctors in Georgia

    The citizens of Georgia are largely dependent on the state's medical board to protect them from incompetent or unscrupulous. These stories revealed that the board has failed to carry out that mission - by licensing doctors that other states considered untouchable, leaving patients in the dark about key issues such as the true nature of disciplinary actions and funneling some of the worst physicians into the state prison system.
  • A Scooter Swindle?

    This piece uncovered Medicare fraud by The SCOOTER Store, the nation’s leading supplier of power wheelchairs. We spent months finding and interviewing former employees of the company. They told us The SCOOTER Store “bulldozed” doctors into writing prescriptions for wheelchairs, whether patients needed them or not. Relentless phone calls and in person visits wore doctors down. They also said the company ranked doctors based on whether they would prescribe chairs, and that it had a program specifically to get chairs for people that physicians had already deemed ineligible.
  • Pain Pillar Investigated by DEA

    CNN's attraction to the story of deaths at a clinic was simple irony. They marveled at how a clinic run by someone who is considered -- at least among pain physicians -- the leading voice about safely prescribing opioids -- could have had so many deaths.
  • No Small Thing: An investigative series on Lyme disease

    This series – testament to the power of a small newspaper, the Internet and analytical reporting -- is viewed widely as an influential force and agenda setter for Lyme disease nationwide. In eight installments in 2012, No Small Thing delineated problems of testing for and treatment and tracking of Lyme disease. In 2013, the newspaper, using 3,000 pages of government emails obtained under FOIA, exposed ties between government officials and outside scientists that influenced Lyme policy and limited debate – the installment submitted here. In 2013, the series also reported evidence that physicians are rejecting controversial guidelines, documented the death toll from Lyme disease using a database of deaths covering 13 years and drove a watershed year in the endemic. In 2013, the CDC revised contested annual case counts tenfold; investigated long-ignored deaths, and invited reform advocates to an unprecedented, high-level meeting. Three Lyme-related bills are pending in New York, where a task force has been convened. Another is pending in Congress.