In The News
Symptom/Diagnosis | Links | Directory | Buy
The CDC (www.cdc.gov/health/diseases.htm) maintains a site with a long list of health topics. Both infectious diseases as well as non-infectious diseases are covered. Links to other sites regarding public health issues are provided. For the diseases covered, the site gives a quick and understandable explanation or definition, and then lists further resources, both on and off the Web.
Healthfinder (www.healthfinder.gov) is a site put up the US Department of Health and Human Resources as a gateway for consumers for reliable health information. Topics include AIDS, heart disease, and fibromyalgia. There is a list of national support groups for various conditions. A completely Spanish version is also available. A master list of health information from federal government agencies can be found here.
Consumer Drug Information (www.fda.gov) is run by the FDA to educate the public on new mediations. Also included are drug recalls and safety issues as well as hot topics. Here you can learn what is regulated by the FDA including radiation emitting products (cell phones) and food borne illnesses.
The Body (www.thebody.com) is a superb site on AIDS/HIV and related topics.
American Academy of Pediatrics (www.aap.org) dedicated to the health of all children.
Toxic Substances (www.checnet.org) Informed parents and caregivers about preventable health and development problems caused by exposure to toxic substances in homes, schools and communities.
Mental Health (www.nimh.nih.gov) National Institute of Mental Health provides information and publications at no charge on a variety of issues such as: eating disorders, ADHD, autism and learning disabilities.
As discussed in Chapter 5, there are an astounding number of sites providing unreliable and sometimes unsafe information. One site promotes the health benefits of drinking one’s own urine, oxygenation cures for AIDS and colloidal silver as cure for Gulf War Syndrome.
Medem (www.medem.com) is a for profit site that is solely owned by the AMA along with several other medical societies. It hopes to provide the most comprehensive information in the world. “Together with leading health care partners, Medem has established the premier physician-patient communications network, designed to facilitate online access to information and care for more than 90,000 physicians, their practices and their patients, while saving patients time and money and helping physicians generate revenue.”
AMA Health Insight (www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/3457.html) Currently it has links to Medem as well as a physician locator. The physician locator has information about doctors in your area. Currently, it allows you to research U.S. doctors (almost 700,000 of them) by name, specialty, and location. You can consult the site’s medical library, or read information supplied by the doctors about their practices.
AAFP Health Information for Patients (familydoctor.org) Good collection of patient handouts. Sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
American Heart Association (www.americanheart.org) Information of topics related to cardiovascular health. Rather extensive.
American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org)
Complete listing and discussion of cancer related medications and a section devoted to
MyPhysician.com (www.myphysicians.com) This is a medical information web site created to provide personalized information to consumers. Always seek the advice of a trained health professional before seeking any new treatment. This site is for information purposes only. The goal at MyPhysicians.com is to answer medical questions within a reasonable period of time.
WebMD (www.webmd.com) offers a large selection of searchable articles. Includes a guide to medical tests and a listing of current clinical trials. Includes a physician locator and free newsletter.
DrKoop.com ( www.drkoop.com) The ads are a bit intrusive. Probably not adequate if you have a mysterious illness. Includes new medical breakthroughs and recent health news as well as a free newsletter.\
HealthGate (www.healthgate.com) “HealthGate’s existing library of information contains thousands of documents used by our clients to provide patients and health-conscious consumers with healthcare information that both patients and physicians can trust. This wealth of content includes information on conditions, diagnostic and surgical procedures, general and specific drug data, cancer, the human anatomy, disease symptoms, alternative medicines, illnesses, surgeries, and breaking medical news.” HealthGate is URAC accredited. “HealthGate is a leader in publishing health and medical information on the Internet”. Institutions like Duke University contract with HealthGate.
ALLExperts (www.allexperts.com) From this site you can e-mail one of their medical experts any reasonable question and receive a response within a few days. The experts receive an evaluation by others and a point system to help you determine their competency.
Yahoo Health (www.yahoo.com/health) A general bad place to start looking for information.
HealthlinkUSA (www.healthlinkusa.com) This site has comprehensive listings of disease and conditions with links to pertinent sites on the Web. “Excellent Health Information concerning treatment, cures, prevention, diagnosis, risk factor, research, support groups, email lists, personal stories and much more”.
MedExplorer (www.medexplorer.com) Had an extensive collection of medically related sites that do not work as of this writing. Was a good search engine but is now a good example of what happens when a web site changes over time and has completely focused on selling prescription items for a profit.
Achoo (www.achoo.com) has its own directory of Web sites or use any one of thirty available search engines on the Web including the Merck Manual.
Health on the Net (www.hon.ch) is a non-profit project based in Switzerland designed to ‘promote the effective and reliable use of the new technologies for telemedicine in healthcare around the world’. “HON in the meantime has become one of most respected not-for-profit portals to medical information on the Internet. We are a Swiss foundation, operating out of Geneva with the generous support of local Geneva authorities. Embedded in one of the liveliest, most innovative international centers for R&D in medical informatics and life sciences, HON co-operates closely with the University Hospitals of Geneva and the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. Our distinguished Council members and Webteam hail from several European countries and the U.S.A.”“Among HON's distinguishing features are two widely-used medical search tools, MedHunt© and HONselect©, and the HON Code of Conduct (HONcode©) for the provision of authoritative, trustworthy Web-based medical information.”
Knowledge Finder (www.kfinder.com) Here you can enter your search query in natural language, and Knowledge Finder will automatically map it to the underlying terms in the database. For example, “if you search for ‘Use of Ritalin to treat ADHD’, your search will be mapped automatically: ‘Ritalin’ will be mapped to the generic drug name ‘Methylphenidate ‘. The acronym ‘ADHD’ will be expanded to ‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder’; And synonyms for ‘treat’ such as ‘therapeutics’ will be retrieved. It claims faster results, draws information from MEDLINE and PreMEDLINE, updated weekly “. There is a fee for using Knowledge Finder, but they do offer a 30-day free access trial after registration.
PDR (Physicians Desk Reference).(www.pdrhealth.com) includes PDR for herbal medicines and numerous drug interactions. Registration is required. Margie. A 55-year-old woman kept gaining weight, fluid retention and became round faced with early diabetes. She discovered that her pharmacist was giving her the wrong medication for her hypertension. By looking up her prescribed medication on PDR, she found that she was receiving cortisone rather than the doctor prescribed antihypertensive.
Medline Plus (www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus) Excellent ability to research a topic from AIDS to toxicology. Sometimes you need more medical advice than Scrubs can provide. The gold standard is Medline Plus. Once the preserve of physicians, Medline’s formidable database is now easier for laypersons to use and is open to everyone. You can easily search for a symptom, condition, or disease, and get quick links to studies, definitions, and the like. Other sections of the site provide direct access to news about clinical trials, a dictionary of strong drugs, and an illustrated medical encyclopedia. And unlike other medical sites, Medline doesn’t pelt you with ads or other sponsored editorials. If you want heavy-duty medical information, go to http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ for tools from the United States National Library of Medicine and the core Medline database.
The Merck Manual (www.merck.com/mrkshared/mmanual_home2/home.jsp) The Merck Manual, a service of the pharmaceutical giant, is a concise and useful starting guide for all things medicinal.
The Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
This site enables you to compare prescription, over-the-counter, and even discontinued drugs by brand name and
The Mayo Clinic Health Oasis (www.mayohealth.org) is one of the better-known and run sites for consumer health information. Some of the more useful things found on this site include a complete drug reference guide for consumers, and an extensive list of articles. There is also an “Ask the Mayo Physician” area, where fairly extensive answers along with illustrations and links are given for commonly asked questions.
Oncolink (www.oncolink.org) is a site from the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, which is well organized and extensive. There is an explanation here about chemotherapy drugs and treatments.
InteliHealth (www.intelihealth.com) is a joint venture between Aetna US Healthcare and Harvard Medical School’s Consumers Health Information and has sections for consumers and professionals. You can also exchange information with others who have the same health problem you do and learn about treatment options they may have tried or heard about. Visitors can find drug information including recent approvals and recalls as well as discussion boards and chat rooms organized by topic. Ask the expert has some well thought out answers.
Net Wellness (www.netwellness.org) is a collaborative effort of three university medical centers. Most topics have an “Ask the Expert” section. Here visitors can ask questions of the faculty and also browse or search past questions asked by others.
Duke University (www.dukehealth.org) This is one of many university sites that have the ability to look up symptoms. Go to the above link and then go to the health library and the A-Z Health Encyclopedia. Enter the symptom that you want to look up on the health library line.
General Sites: (Contain Information on a Variety of Problems)
www.americanheart.org (American Heart Association)
Cerebrovascular Disease and Stroke
Pulmonary Diseases and Allergy
(National Emphysema Foundation)
Endocrine and Diabetes
www.niddk.nih.gov (National Institute of Diabetes and
Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
www.arthritis.org (The Arthritis Foundation)
www.cancer.org (American Cancer Society)
www.hivinssite.ucsf.edu (University of California
at San Francisco-HIV site)
Geriatrics, Aging, Osteoporosis
(Alzheimer’s Disease and Referral)
www.4woman.gov (National Women’s Health Information
(Annals of Internal Medicine)