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Communication science expert Brian Southwell, PhD, recently launched a training workshop at the Duke University School of Medicine to address a major clinical problem: What should physicians do when patients are misinformed about their health? It’s one of only a few such programs in the nation. Southwell, a scholar with the medical school’s Social Science Research Institute and a senior director at the independent, nonprofit research institute RTI International, chatted with JAMA Medical News Associate Managing Editor Jennifer Abbasi about the viral spread of false health information and malicious disinformation campaigns, why we’re vulnerable to falling for them, and how time-pressed physicians can deal with all the noise.
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