Are Journalists too Hopeful when Reporting on Medical Developments?

Andrew Holtz
Portland, OR

Media & Communications Health & Medical


Andrew Holtz, MPH
Andrew Holtz is a veteran health journalist and leading thinker on both health and media topics. A former CNN Medical Correspondent, Holtz is the author of three books about popular TV shows "House" and "Grey's Anatomy." He speaks with expertise about how the news media cover health & medicine & policy, the effect of TV medical shows on popular beliefs about medicine, and new ways of visual storytelling using emerging technologies.
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Contact Information:
Portland, OR 97229
United States
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Former CNN Medical Correspondent Andrew Holtz reports and comments on health and medicine from Portland, Oregon. He is a Charter Member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, Holtz served on the AHCJ Board from 1999-2011, including four years as President of the Board. He was AHCJ's Interim Executive Director from 2004 to 2005.

His first book, "The Medical Science of House, M.D." provides fans of the popular medical drama a reality check by explaing how doctors in the real world diagnose and treat diseases. For his second book, "The Real Greys Anatomy," Holtz spent several months shadowing surgery residents in order to offer readers a glimpse into what their days and nights are really like. A follow-up volume that explores recent seasons of House, "House, M.D. vs. Reality", was published in March 2011.

Holtz reviews news stories about medicine for, which is an effort to promote higher standards of news coverage.

He was Chief Anchor & Senior News Editor of a video-based health news channel, in 2009-2010. He wrote the ScriptDoctor column on medicine in the media for Oncology Times and has also contributed articles on policy issues affecting health and health care.

He authored a new introduction for the re-issue of “How to Live 365 Days a Year,” a classic health advice bestseller that popularized concepts of mind-body connections in health.

Holtz hosted and co-produced Taking the Pulse, a pilot series of health policy programs on Oregon Public Broadcasting. He also hosted HoltzReport: Battle for Cancer for the Fuji TV network in Japan. He was Tobacco Issues Editor for InTouch magazine. His work has also appeared on the PBS television program HealthWeek, Medical Detectives on TLC and websites including Reuters Health.

Andrew Holtz was a 1998 Kaiser Media Fellow. The Kaiser Family Foundation grant supported research into tobacco control campaigns, in conjunction with Masters of Public Health studies at Portland State University and the Oregon Health Sciences University.

Prior to returning home to Portland, Andrew Holtz worked out of the CNN headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to reporting daily medical news and features, he co-anchored the Your Health program. He reported and anchored documentaries on topics including genetic research, the body’s internal clock, Alzheimer’s Disease, and how the collapse of communism affected public health in Eastern Europe. He received a national Emmy awards for his part in CNN’s coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing and the Olympic park bombing.

Andrew Holtz began his CNN career in Portland, Oregon covering the eruptions of Mt. St. Helens just as the network was launched in 1980. He was a Correspondent in CNN’s Los Angeles bureau before joining the Health Unit in Atlanta. Holtz began his TV career as a reporter and lead anchor at KENI-TV (now KTUU) in Anchorage, Alaska.

During 1986 and 1987, Andrew Holtz and his wife spent 10 months circling the globe, including several months spent in eastern and southern Africa.

Andrew Holtz earned a Master of Public Health degree in the Oregon MPH program. His thesis research explored antismoking campaigns directed at youth. Holtz received his BA from Stanford University. He majored in broadcast communication and was News Director of radio station KZSU-FM. He minored in physics. He graduated Cum Laude from the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. Holtz attended the School Year Abroad program in Langenhagen, Germany.

Andrew Holtz is married and has two children. He is an avid bicyclist and is a member of the Multnomah County Bicycle & Pedestrian Citizens Advisory Committee

Story Pitch

That new medical breakthrough may sound great but watch out for gullible healthcare reporters
Journalists don't always cover healthcare issues with the same skeptical eye they do when reporting on politics or business.
Recent Publications/Appearances


February 27, 2013 blogtalkradio "House Rewatch with guest Andrew Holtz"

June 6, 2011 Health-Hospital "How High Salt Content Affects Our Diet"

"House, M.D. vs. Reality" (Berkley/Penguin, 2011)

"The Medical Science of House, M.D." (Berkley/Penguin, 2006)

"The Real Greys Anatomy," (Berkley/Penguin, 2010)

"It's the Means, not the Medium." Epidemiology. March 2010.

Web videos on health and health care


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