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Robert Lowes

Specializes in: Profiles, Business, Government, Medicine, Health/Wellness, Technology

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Work has previously appeared: National Daily Newspaper, Daily Newspaper, Community Newspaper, National Magazine, Local/Regional Magazine, Trade Magazine, Online Trade Magazine, Newsletter

I’ve been a journalist since 1982. My editors over the years have described my stories as accurate, well-researched, fair, hard-hitting, easy to read, and colorful.

I have covered health care since 1988, and exclusively from February 1998 to July 2008, when I worked at a physicians’ magazine called Medical Economics. I’m attracted to the richness of this literally life-and-death beat. Health care is a microcosm of society, where science, ethics, law, politics, technology, and entrepreneurship alternately blend and contend, all against the backdrop of human mortality. One day I can write about the spirituality inherent in alternative medicine and the next day discuss the venture capital behind the retail clinics in Target.

As a health-care journalist, I’ve primarily focused on business issues facing doctors in private practice. I’m one of the nation’s leading reporters on the subject of practice management, which encompasses how-to topics such as staffing, office design, and collections. A second specialty is health-care information technology, which is replacing paper charts and prescription pads with electronic counterparts. For eight years, I wrote a monthly column for Medical Economics called “Tech Talk,” followed by an online newsletter called “InfoTech Bulletin.” I continue to chronicle the evolution of digital medicine with a column in Diversion magazine titled “M.D. Tech.”

I’ve looked at broader topics in health care, such as various efforts to reform how it is financed and delivered. Another major issue has been tort reform. A story in this category examined how different nations adjudicate malpractice claims.

I wrote features for Medical Economics on subjects that you might not expect in a nuts-and-bolts business publication. I produced two articles about a Tucson eye surgeon--and self-confessed shoplifter and drug addict--who was convicted of conspiring (successfully) to kill a competitor. My first story got CBS News on the trail and led to an hour-long “48 Hours” segment. And one month after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, I visited New Orleans and Bayou La Batre, AL, with notebook and camera to report on how the catastrophe affected doctors there.

I can write about the clinical side of health care, too. As a free-lancer, I’ve contributed articles to the alumni magazine of the Washington University School of Medicine that delved into topics ranging from bone regeneration to the relationship of brain anatomy and depression.

My work outside the health-care beat demonstrates journalistic versatility. I’ve investigated extremist groups like the Council of Conservative Citizens, compared the music of the St. Louis and Chicago symphony orchestras, explored the New Age subculture of St. Louis, forecasted the economy for commercial painters, dissected the seed industry for soybean farmers, and profiled two university presidents, a slumlord philanthropist, media mogul Ralph Ingersoll II, and a hemophiliac boy stricken by AIDS.

I practiced daily-deadline journalism when I was a reporter at the now-defunct St. Louis Globe-Democrat. I still write on tight deadlines, as evidenced by my daily coverage of a recent Medicare conference on electronic prescribing for an online publication called MedPage Today.

Ever since my days on a police beat for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, I have relied heavily on public documents in my reporting. My pieces on the Tucson eye surgeon, for example, were based on hundreds of pages of court pleadings, depositions, and police reports. Adept at online research, I routinely drill down into civil litigation, SEC filings, and government regulations.

I’ve received awards for my work from the American Society of Association Executives, the American Society of Business Press Editors, and the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2005, I was part of a Medical Economics team that won the Jesse H. Neal Editorial Achievement Award for a series on launching a medical practice. In 2007, I took first place in the annual journalism competition sponsored by the National Institute of Health Care Management for my story on urgent-care doctor and health-care reformer Vic Wood in West Virginia. A Medical Economics article on women physicians was reprinted in a college textbook titled “Sociology: Windows on Society” while an article on the history of physician compensation was reprinted in a book titled “Physician Compensation.”

I have a B.A. in English literature from Washington University, a B.A. in Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where I won the graduate prize for poetry twice. My poems have been published in more than a dozen literary journals and newsstand magazines such as The New Republic and The Christian Century.

Last updated: 10/18/2016 ()

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