Research Tools - Spring 2003

Health and Medical Internet Websites

Medical and health-related questions are among the more frequently asked ones we get at the Reference Desk. Whether for a class assignment or their own personal use, library users frequently are looking for information on particular conditions and diseases, common side effects to prescription drugs, demographics as related to disease, the availability of online journals not subscribed to by the Library, and many other topics.
Since it seems that everyone at one time or another needs health and medical information, what follows are some useful Web sites used and recommended by your friendly Weinberg Memorial Library reference librarians.

MEDLINEplus Health Information
This is an excellent place to begin a health-related search. Maintained by the National Library of Medicine as the consumer counterpart to its MEDLINE/PubMed database, MEDLINEplus contains information on diseases and conditions, lists hospitals and physicians, provides an online medical encyclopedia and dictionaries, contains extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, and links to thousands of clinical trials for new and experimental treatments. Updated daily.
County Health Profiles 2002
Here you'll find the PA Dept. of Health's County Health Profiles, two-page summaries of the health statistics for each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties. Included are demographic information on income, age, and sex; data on births and deaths, including the leading causes of disease; and detailed information on hospitals, nursing homes and drug and alcohol treatment centers.
The editors of this site predict that in the next few years more and more medical journals are going to become available free, online, and in full-text. What they have done on this site is link to more than 900 medical journals currently available. Included are CA - A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report MMWR, Biochemical Journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, and many more. So if Weinberg Memorial Library does n ot have a subscription or access to the medical journal that you want, try looking here! You can also subscribe to their Journal Alert to be notified as new journals are added.
Harvard World Health News
An online news digest from the Center for Health Communication at the Harvard School of Public Health. The site intends to be a valuable source of information for those interested in public health policy and features breaking public health stories from around the world.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this is a very user-friendly so urce of consumer health and human services information. This is a good source of information for additional health organizations and support groups, listed in its "Directory of healthfinder® Organizations" (search by topic).
Remember that the sites are all listed on our Web Resources page, accessed from our Electronic Indexes page. And as always, if you have questions, please contact us at th e Reference Desk.
Linda Neyer