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" ...

  • The Prescribers

    We found that Medicare’s massive prescription drug program, in its drive to get drugs into patients' hands, failed to properly monitor safety. An analysis of four years of Medicare prescription records shows that some doctors and other health professionals across the country prescribed large quantities of drugs that were potentially harmful, disorienting or addictive. One Florida doctor gave hundreds of dementia patients antipsychotic medications despite a black box warning that it increases the risk of death. And more than half the top prescribers of Oxycontin, the most-abused painkiller, faced criminal charges or discipline against their professional licenses, or had been terminated from state Medicaid programs -- but retained their ability to prescribe in Medicare. Federal officials have done little to detect or deter these hazardous prescribing patterns. A subsequent story found that many of the top prescribers of highly advertised drugs within Medicare’s drug program had financial ties to the makers of the drugs. We also built an interactive news application that lets consumers to look up their physicians and see how their prescribing patterns compare to those of their peers. The news application, which has had more than 800,000 page views, allows users to personalize the story for themselves and see their personal stake in this national story.
  • Dying for Relief

    A Los Angeles Times investigation showed how rogue physicians and pharmacists profiteer at the expense of patients’ safety, and in many cases patients’ lives, and how law enforcement officials and medical regulators have failed to prevent it.
  • StarTribune: Discipline Deferred

    A six-month investigation by the Star Tribune found that the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, once considered a national leader in the regulation of licensed physicians, often doesn’t punish doctors whose mistakes harm patients or who demonstrate a pattern of substandard care. After analyzing information compiled by a national databank and reviewing thousands of pages of court and medical board records, the reporters found that the board, which regulates 20,000 physicians in the state, has been reluctant to punish some doctors who have harmed patients, including more than 100 doctors who were disciplined by other states and even doctors who lost privileges to practice at Minnesota hospitals. The investigation also showed that the board lags behind boards in other states in disclosing information to the public, including data on malpractice judgments or settlements. It also doesn’t disclose whether doctors have been disciplined by regulators in other states or lost their privileges to work in hospitals and other facilities for surgical mistakes and other problems.
  • C-HIT: Pharma Perks

    The Affordable Care Act requires pharmaceutical companies to publicly report all payments to physicians by September 2013. Some drug companies have already compiled, but few consumers know that the information is available or how to access it. What this story did is disclose for the first time for CT consumers: 1) how many doctors in Connecticut are high-prescribers of certain psychotropic and pain medications, (108) 2) the cost of written prescriptions (hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases) 3) how many of these doctors received payments from drug companies (at least 43) 4) and the amounts that the doctors received from the drug companies ($30,000 - $99,000) It also reported that only 3 doctors on the high-prescribing drug list have been disciplined by the state Medical Examining Board.
  • The Case of Dr. Konasiewicz

    The investigation finds nearly 90 cases of alleged patient harm by a neurosurgeon, and shows that the hospital kept him on staff despite numerous warnings from other physicians about the quality of his care.
  • "Physicians on Pharma's Payroll: Educators or Marketers?"

    This story focuses on doctors as industry speakers and their relationship with pharmaceutical companies. The pharmaceutical companies claim to choose speakers based on expertise, but further investigation shows that many of the hired physicians have "serious transgressions on their state records." They also tend to be "high prescribers" of the company's products.
  • Dollars for Docs

    The series investigates the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and the physicians they pay to serve as their speakers and consultants. ProPublica created a searchable database on its website that allows members of the public to see whether their doctors have been paid by one of seven pharmaceutical companies.
  • Dubious Medicine

    Alternative treatments have become very popular among autism patients and their families. Furthermore, physicians are promoting and using these treatments. This investigation reveals that these treatments are unproven and very risky to the children receiving the treatments. Also, in the investigation, they found a number of disappointing results from the few clinical trials, even though many families believe their children have benefited.
  • Peddling Pills

    "'Peddling Pills' investigated the relationship between doctors and the country's 100,000 pharmaceutical sale representatives, exploring how drug reps have continued to influence doctors' prescribing habits despite a much-publicized earlier crackdown on their sales tactics."
  • Dangerous Doctors

    "The investigation found that the state Medical Examining Board's disciplinary process favors doctors over patients." Often the board was slow to follow complaints, and kept investigations secret.