Fox News personalities are on the forefront of spreading misinformation about health care reform and here’s one example that takes the cake.

Bill O’Reilly, citing the New England Journal of Medicine stated that  “46.3% May Leave Medical Profession” and “If half of the nation’s doctors are considering bailing on the profession if Obama-care passes, that is a frightening consequence.”

Here’s what the “poll” actually stated:

46.3%of primary care physicians (family medicine and internal medicine) feel that the passing of health reform will either force them out of medicine or make them want to leave medicine.

Misleading, yes, but that’s not the most interesting part. The New England Journal of Medicine states that they never produced a health care survey!

For example, on Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said: “The New England Journal of Medicine has published a report and did a survey, and they said the impact of reform on primary care physicians, 46 percent, they say, feel reform will force them out or make them want to leave medicine.”

This is false.

Media Matters for America contacted the New England Journal of Medicine, which confirmed it neither conducted nor published the “survey.”

NEJM spokesperson Jennifer Zeis told Media Matters that the study had “nothing to do with the New England Journal of Medicine’s original research.” She also made clear that the study “was not published by the New England Journal of Medicine,” and said that “we are taking steps to clarify the source of the survey.”

The “report” that right-wing media are citing actually appeared in Recruiting Physicians Today, which is an employment newsletter produced by “the publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine.” According to Zeis, that report actually “was written by the Medicus Firm,” the medical recruitment firm that conducted the “survey.”

UPDATE: Following inquiries from Media Matters, the “NEJM CareerCenter” website has now posted the following statement, making clear that Recruiting Physicians Today is a “free advertiser newsletter” whose content is “produced by physician recruiting firms and other independent groups involved in physician employment” and that Medicus was responsible for conducting and publishing the “survey” in question…


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4 Responses to “Bill O’Reilly, Fox & Friends Survey Falsehoods”

  1. it might not be the most thrilling put up ever, nevertheless it is an important one

  2. So if I read this right, O’reilly got the source wrong but apparently a report by a Medical Recruiting firm did indeed publish a report with those findings. Is that correct? To me it doesn’t matter who published the report but rather the accuracy of the report itself. If 46% of medical professionals quit or change professions it will be devastating.

  3. Looks like NEJM published the survey to me, or at least they linked to it. Here is just one link they provide:

    Maybe they didn’t “produce” the survey, but now you’re being mis-leading.

  4. FoxNewsBoycott says:

    Q, Please read, “The content that appears here should not be construed as coming from the New England Journal of Medicine, nor does it represent the views of the New England Journal of Medicine or the Massachusetts Medical Society.” and “Recruiting Physicians Today is a free advertiser newsletter published by the Worldwide Advertising Sales and Marketing Department in the publishing division of the Massachusetts Medical Society.” Thanks.

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