Top Medical Journalists

Our list reflects those that we believe embody the vastness of the health and medical fields. We chose writers that strive to discover, uncover, and educate in their reporting. We poured over a vast amount of publications to find reporters that demonstrate extreme dedication to their industry. We chose journalists with a wide reach and who are known for breaking news and innovative storytelling. Below are our picks for the Top Medical Journalists Awards, praising reporters for their superior work across all media platforms.

Selecting the TOP Medical Journalists

Unfortunately, that means that many medical and health-focused journalists’ work tends to be overshadowed by the latest update. That is why PR Hacker is recognizing ten notable medical journalists for their outstanding work and resilience with the Top Medical Journalists Awards.

To select these esteemed reporters, we dove deeper into the medical and healthcare realm to grasp a better understanding of the research and work behind their articles. Our list reflects those that we believe embody the vastness of the health and medical fields. We chose writers that strive to discover, uncover, and educate in their reporting. We poured over a vast amount of publications to find reporters that demonstrate extreme dedication to their industry. We chose journalists with a wide reach and who are known for breaking news and innovative storytelling. Below are our picks for the Top Medical Journalists Awards, praising reporters for their superior work across all media platforms.

TOP Medical Journalists

10. Elizabeth Cohen CNN


9. James Hamblin Atlantic


8. Bruce Y. Lee Forbes


7. Arthur Allen Politico


6. Abby Goodnough The New York Times


5. John Nosta Forbes


4. Atul Gawande The New Yorker


3.  Charles Ornstein ProPublica


2. Sanjay Gupta CNN


1. Gina Kolata The New York Times

10.  Elizabeth Cohen

Current Publication:CNN
Beat:Medical News and Health
Articles:1,464
Twitter Followers:22.1k
Twitter Username:@elizcohencnn

Elizabeth Cohen is a senior medical correspondent for CNN’s Health, Medical and Wellness unit. Her focus lies in breaking medical news on health. Cohen has shed light on several U.S. health crises and was also the first to report on the Bayer Essure birth control scandal. Cohen authored the popular book, “THE EMPOWERED PATIENT: How to get the Right Diagnosis, Buy the Cheapest Drugs, Beat Your Insurance Company, and Get the Best Medical Care Every Time,” where she highlights patient stories and insights on how to get the best healthcare and avoid medical errors. From on-the-scene reporting following the hurricane that devastated Haiti to the detailed investigative journalism covering the record breaking flu outbreak in 2017, Cohen has earned an honorable role in the field of medical journalism.

Signature Story

Elizabeth Cohen brought the terrors of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Liberia to the surface in her article, “Searching for the answer: Can the world stop Ebola?”. She continued to report and personally document the effects that the outbreak had on the Liberian people in her article, “Woman Saves Three Relatives From Ebola.” Her personal accounts and reporting on the outbreak and the efforts that are in place, and not in place, to combat the issue earned her a Gracie Award from the Alliance of Women in Media.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Elizabeth’s reporting is quite notable in her ability to take a difficult and rather frightening medical crisis and turn it into a powerful and impactful testimony. Her ability to use patients and first-hand accounts is what helps her stand out and connect with readers across generations and nations.

9. James Hamblin

Current Publication:The Atlantic
Beat:Health, Wellness, Medical
Articles:1,427
Twitter Followers:106.2k
Twitter Username:@jameshamblin

Dr. James Hamblin is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he covers topics related to health and wellness, medical news and policies. Hamblin is also noted as a host on the “If Our Bodies Could Talk” show on The Atlantic, where he tackled common health and wellness questions and speaks with subject matter experts. His reporting on the show earned him a finalist position in the Webby Awards for Best Web Personality. He also wrote a book titled after the show, “If Our Bodies Could Talk.” The book tackles the inner workings of the human body, common questions raised among health and medical professionals, and highlights the future of medicine. TIME named Hamblin among the top 140 people to follow on Twitter and Greatist named him as one of the most influential people in health media.

Signature Story

Hamblin’s reporting on vaccinations has earned him a spot on the Top 10 Medical Journalists list. In his article, “Why Jessica Biel Is Wrong,” Hamblin takes on a controversial topic in today’s medical economy. His ability to tie in and understand multiple beliefs and backgrounds of those that oppose vaccines and turn it into a positive, medically backed argument for the use of vaccines sparked wide-spread interest across social media and various media platforms.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Hamblin does an excellent job of taking a prominent pop-culture individual’s controversial beliefs and creating a strong, medically-backed argument. With his multiple study citations, testimonies, statistics and discussion of political health policies, Hamblin creates a compelling argument that you won’t want to miss.

8. Bruce Y. Lee

Current Publication:Forbes
Beat:Health
Articles:1,187
Twitter Followers:13.2k
Twitter Username:@bruce_y_lee

Bruce Y. Lee is a Senior health and wellness, healthcare industry, medical, and public health and safety Contributor for Forbes online. Dr. Lee is a notable Associate Professor of International Health at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Director of the Global Obesity Prevention Center and Director of Operations Research at the International Vaccine Access Center. He has contributed to over 160 scientific publications and has authored three books. His work has been highlighted in multiple media outlets, including The New York Times, Bloomberg News, U.S. News and World Report, LA Times and NPR. His work with Forbes has covered the convergence of medicine and general/public health and the healthcare industry.

Signature Story

The #PatientsAreNotFaking movement has taken the social media world by storm. It is difficult for one to believe that a trusted medical professional would discount one’s symptoms or medical issues; however, it is, evidently, a growing and prominent issue that needed to be addressed. Dr. Lee addresses this movement in his article, “Why #PatientsAreNotFaking Began And What It Says About Health Care.” In this article, he uses live footage caught on film by patients, testimonies, statistical data and also discusses the potentially harmful psychological and physical outcomes that this unfortunate occurrence can result in.

7. Arthur Allen

Current Publication:Kaiser Health News
Beat:Medicine, Pharmaceutical
Articles:206
Twitter Followers:3.8k
Twitter Username:@ArthurAllen202

Arthur Allen is the main contributor to Kaiser Health News. Before KHN, he was with POLITICO for a number of years focusing on the medical and pharmaceutical industries. He has operated as a freelance journalist for various publications such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Republic, Slate.com, Global Health Matters, the Associated Press, and Science and Mother Jones. He has also authored three non-fiction books, “The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl,” “Ripe,” and “Vaccine: the controversial story of medicine’s greatest lifesaver.” Allen has passionately reported on the growing controversial nature surrounding vaccines.

Signature Story

Allen’s article, “Study: Around the world, troubling levels of vaccine mistrust” sparked conversations around the medical and health professions and public health. Allen sheds light on the growing global concern around vaccines and their possible effects.

Why You’ll Want to Read

It can sometimes be difficult to understand the exact meaning and science behind medical research and findings. However, Arthur Allen’s ability to take a concept that is difficult to unravel and controversial in nature, and expound on it in a way that allows everyone to understand and connect with the story is why he earned a spot on our Top 10 Medical Journalists list.

6. Abby Goodnough

Current Publication:The New York Times
Beat:Health, Wellness
Articles:670
Twitter Followers:22.5k
Twitter Username:@abbygoodnough

Abby Goodnough is a national healthcare Correspondent at the New York Times. Her work has inspired conversations around healthcare policies and the healthcare industry on a national scale. She is highly regarded for her coverage in the political healthcare sphere. Her work has been featured in MSN, CNBC, The Economic Times, Seattle Times and much more.

Signature Story

Abby Goodnough has far too many amazing stories to be able to pick just one. That is why we chose to highlight her five part series, “The Treatment Gap.” This series focuses on the growing, national opioid epidemic. Throughout the course of the series, Abby illustrates the process of opioid addiction treatment, and/or the lack and neglect from medical providers, through detailed patient accounts and medical data and research.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Opioid overdose is a very real and ever-growing epidemic in the United States. With a growing death count, it is important to understand the stories and backgrounds of those that are affected, the medical understanding behind the addiction, and the healthcare policies and steps being enforced to combat the issues. Abby Goodnough does just that in her five part series, earning her a spot on our Top 10 Medical Journalists list.

5.  John Nosta

Current Publication:Freelance
Beat:Health and Wellness
Articles:218
Twitter Followers:65.5k
Twitter Username:@JohnNosta

John Nosta is a well-known businessman, innovator, and contributing writer at Forbes Linked In, and Fortune. He covers the intersection of the medical and healthcare industries, business, and technology. He is the founder of the digital health think tank, NOSTALAB. He is also a prominent, digital health keynote speaker. His work can also be seen in Fortune, Psychology Today and Wired.

Signature Story

Nosta is a master at bringing tech and consumer innovation stories into the medical and healthcare world. He has covered a wide variety of these types of stories, such as. His 2018 article, “High-Tech Parkinson’s Therapy With A Powerful Consumer Touch” received widespread coverage due to its intriguing article highlighting the use of consumer technology, like iPods, to help move Parkinson’s Disease treatments to a whole new level.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Combining consumer technology and medical breakthroughs seems like something out of a sci-fi movie. So, when a reporter actually presents research and key findings to something as cool as utilizing iPhones to help with Parkinson’s treatment, it is worth the read!

4. Atul Gawande

Current Publication:The New Yorker
Beat:Health and Medicine
Articles:201
Twitter Followers:381.7k
Twitter Username:@Atul_Gawande

Dr. Atul Gawande is not only a staff writer for The New Yorker but is also a practicing surgeon, professor, author, CEO, and health and medical researcher. His four books, “Complications,” “Better,” “The Checklist Manifesto,” and “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” have earned him a spot on The New York Times Bestsellers list. He has received two National Magazine Awards, a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lewis Thomas Award for science writing and reporting and an AcademyHealth’s Impact Award for highest research impact on healthcare.

Signature Story

Dr. Gawande has written countless amounts of intriguing articles that has sparked conversation in the medical and health fields. His 2018 U.C.L.A. Medical School commencement speech turned article, “Curiosity and What Equality Really Means,” follows his encounter with a prisoner who inflicted, nearly fatal, self-harm. He highlights the gap in healthcare that many receive due to income, background, race, connections and preexisting medical conditions.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Bringing medical and health down to humanity can be difficult. It can be hard to grasp the terms and concepts, methods and structure that envelop the healthcare industry. Dr. Gawande’s article helps connect the science with the human. It calls us to question our own experiences and what we can do to combat these issues.

3. Charles Ornstein

Current Publication:ProPublica
Beat:Health care, medical quality
Articles:2,013
Twitter Followers:54.9k
Twitter Username:@charlesornstein

Charles Ornstein is a senior reporter at ProPublica, where he specializes in healthcare and healthcare issues. He is also an adjunct associate professor of journalism at Columbia University. Ornstein received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his work on the 2005 LA Times series, “The Troubles at King/Drew,” co-authored by Mitchell Lansberg. His work earned him a Pulitzer Prize nomination for Public Service.

Signature Story

Charles’ recent article, “We Found Over 700 Doctors Who Were Paid More Than a Million Dollars by Drug and Medical Device Companies” works to shed light on the astronomical earnings of medical doctors and physicians. Many doctors are taking to the stage, speaking on medical research or even earning high-paying royalties from medical innovations and inventions. His research presented in the article compares the spending of the pharmaceutical and medical tools industry, versus the earnings of the medical professionals. The numbers, research, and deductions are quite eye-opening and thus proved him deserving of his spot on our list.

2. Sanjay Gupta

Current Publication:CNN
Beat:Medical
Articles:733
Twitter Followers:2.5M
Twitter Username:@drsanjaygupta

Dr. Sanjay Gupta is one of the best-known neurosurgeons, Emmy-award winning medical correspondent, Peabody award winner, author, university staff member and host. He was recently elected to the National Academy of Medicine, which is considered to be one of the field’s most prestigious and highest honors. He is a multi-award winning medical journalist, having earned over a dozen awards and honors throughout his career. From front-line reporting in Puerto Rico to hosting his CNN show, “Chasing Life With Sanjay Gupta,” Dr. Gupta’s reporting has earned him a spot on our Top 10 Medical Journalists list.

Signature Story

As noted above, Dr. Gupta’s investigative and on-the-ground reporting is something that makes him one of the most notable medical reporters. His article, “Life lessons from the native tribe with the healthiest hearts in the world,” is a beautiful example of medical reporting on a global-scale. His report on the American lifestyle and health compared to the Bolivians’ is an intriguing and note-worthy read, earning him a spot on our Top 10 list.

Why You’ll Want to Read

The whole world enjoys tuning into Dr. Gupta’s reporting. His article on his travels to Bolivia, to learn more about how to prevent heart disease, turned all eyes and ears as he discussed diet, working strategies and timelines, family structure, socializing, etc. of the Bolivian people. It is truly a beautiful account of another culture finding healthy and alternative ways to build their lifestyle structure, far from the American norm (something everyone should devote time in learning more about).

1. Gina Kolata

Current Publication:The New York Times
Beat:Science and Medicine
Articles:1,056
Twitter Followers:24.3k
Twitter Username:@ginakolata

Gina Kolata is a notable New York Times medical reporter. Her work at The New York Times earned her two Pulitzer Prize nominations for investigative and explanatory journalism. Her work has earned her multiple honors and awards. She is also the author of six books and actively lectures at universities and medical institutions. Her background in molecular biology paved the way for her passion in medical and science reporting.

Signature Story

In “10 Findings That Contradict Medical Wisdom. Doctors, Take Note,” Kolata addresses ten common beliefs and health ideas/practices that actually contradict themselves and do not hold any ground. Think popping those fish oil pills can help prevent cardiovascular disease and trauma? Think again. Kolata tackles many long-standing and commonly held health beliefs that many are practicing, but not fully understanding.

Why You’ll Want to Read

It is easy to get caught up in all of the medical-hoopla and “preventative measures” that the internet, old customary beliefs and some medical professionals tell you. How do you know what is actually the right method to the madness? How do you know if some of the measures you are taking to prevent certain medical ailments are correct? This article is a perfect source to tackle some very common beliefs when it comes to preventative care and health. Kolata’s discussion of “medical reversal” is why she has earned a spot on our Top 10 Medical Journalists list.

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