Cynicism aside, clinical practice guidelines are good resources for healthcare journalists to get an idea of who the players are in a particular disease area. They’re good jumping-off points to find expert interviews, but should not be relied on solely as sources. Even those released by well-known organizations like the American Diabetes Association or the American Urological Association, which updated prostate cancer screening guidelines in May, must be scrutinized for potential commercial influence.

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Sibyl Shalo Wilmont is a healthcare journalist and emergency department nurse with insider experience in the pharmaceutical industry, academic medicine, and patient advocacy. She is a graduate student in Hunter College's dual-degree Master's in Community/Public Health Nursing/Master's in Public Health program. Follow her on Twitter @nursesibyl.