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Locating Health and Medical Information

Science Reference Guide No. 34


Color poster with a nurse by the bedside of a wounded man.
Poster: Office of War Information, 1943.
From the Prints and Photographs Catalog,
Library of Congress.

The following guide is a list of sources used in the Science Reading Room at the Library of Congress. For books which are frequently updated, the edition number and year are in parentheses, so you should always check for a later edition. Many of these books, journals and newsletters can be found in public or university libraries. Ask your local librarian about them or for suggestions of materials more appropriate to your search.


Millions of consumers have turned to the Internet to find information on health issues, however, caution must be used, as many Web sites are filled with misleading, inaccurate, outdated, and potentially dangerous advice, as well as sales pitches for unproven pills and miracle cures. This guide lists reliable Web sites, some of which review, recommend and link to other dependable sites. Many Web sites have passed Health On the Net Foundation’s rigorous HON Code of Conduct for the provision of authoritative and reliable medical information (The HON Web site itself is a good source of health information with a search feature, news, and reports). See:
URAC (a health care accreditation organization) also has a program that measures health Web sites against rigorous standards to assure quality information to consumers. Its list of accredited sites is at:
Additionally, the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section (CAPHIS) of the Medical Library Association (MLA) has a committee which evaluates and selects its Top 100 Web sites for health consumers. See:
MLA also has an extremely helpful “User’s guide to finding and evaluating health information on the Web” written by medical librarians at:
And they also have a book which is available online:
The Medical Library Association encyclopedic guide to searching and finding health information on the Web. Edited by P. F. Anderson and Nancy J. Allee. New York, Neal-Schumann Publishers, c2004. 3 v.
 R859.7.I58M436 2004 <SciRR>
   vol.1--search strategies/quick reference guide.
   vol.2--diseases & disorders/mental health & mental disorders
   vol.3--health & wellness/life stages & reproduction/cumulative index
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides a “MedlinePlus guide to healthy web searching” at:


America's top doctors. New York, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. (4th ed., 2004)
   R712.A1A655 <SciRR Desk>

The Best doctors in America. Aiken, S.C., Woodward/White, Inc., 1994. 1131 p.
   R712.A1N25 1995 <SciRR Desk>

   Other titles in the best doctors series from Woodward/White:
   The Best doctors in America. Central region. R712.A2M53225 1996-1997 <SciRR Desk>
   The Best doctors in America. Midwest region. R712.A2M5323 1996-1997 <SciRR Desk>
   The Best doctors in America. Northeast region. R712.A2N9525 1996-1997 <SciRR Desk>
   The Best doctors in America. Pacific region. R712.A2W383 1996-1997 <SciRR Desk>
   The Best doctors in America. Southeast region. R712.A2S693 1996-1997 <SciRR Desk>
   There are no updated editions of these books, but they are still useful.

Consumers’ guide to top doctors. Washington, Center for the Study of Services, Consumers’ Checkbook. (2002)
   R712.A1C66 <SciRR Desk>
   For information:

Directory of physicians in the United States. Chicago, AMA Press (American Medical Association). Irregular. (39th ed., 2005)
   R712.A1A6 <SciRR Desk>

The Official ABMS directory of board certified medical specialists. St. Louis, Elsevier Saunders. Annual.
(37th ed., 2005)
   R712.A1O335 <SciRR Desk>
   URL: (click on "Who's certified" to check on a physician, also gives general information on the training and certification of specialists)

Questionable doctors disciplined by states or the federal government. Washington, Public Citizen Health Research Group, 2000. 4 v.
   RA399.A3Q47 <SciRR Desk>
   For information:

The Washington physicians directory. Washington, National Directories, Inc. Annual. (2003)
   R712.A3W42 <SciRR Desk>



Barclay, Donald A., and Deborah D. Halsted. The Medical Library Association consumer health reference service handbook. New York, Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2001. 197 p.
   RA776.B234 2001 <SciRR>

Cecil textbook of medicine. Edited by Lee Goldman and Dennis Ausiello. Philadelphia, Saunders. (22nd ed., 2004)
   RC46.C423 <SciRR>

The Complete directory for people with chronic illness: DCI. Lakeville, CT, Grey House Pub. Annual. (6th ed., 2003-2004)
   RC108.C645 <SciRR>

The Complete directory for people with disabilities. Lakeville, CT, Grey House Pub. Annual. (13th ed., 2005)
   HV1553.C58 <MRR>

The Complete directory for people with rare disorders: a comprehensive guide to over 1,000 rare disorders from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. Lakeville, Conn., Grey House Pub. Annual. (2002/2003)
   RC48.8.C66 <SciRR>
   Index or rare diseases; rare disease database; index of organizations; organizational database.

The Consumer health information source book. Edited by Karen Bellenir. Detroit, Mich., Omnigraphics, c1999. 618 p.
   RA776.5.C655 1999 <SciRR>
   Omnigraphics has an entire Health Reference Series with more than 70 titles with health information on a broad range of health topics. There is also a teen health series and a list of forthcoming books (titles are regularly updated).

Current medical diagnosis & treatment. Stamford, CT, Appleton & Lange. Annual. (44th ed., 2005)
   RC71.A14 <SciRR>

Encyclopedia of medical organizations and agencies. Detroit, GaleResearch. Annual. (14th ed., 2005)
   R712.A1E53 <SciRR Desk>

Everything you need to know about medical emergencies. Springhouse, Penn., Springhouse Corp., c1997. 660 p.
   RC87.E83 1997 <SciRR>
   Subject-classified information on medical and health-related national and international organizations; state and regional organizations; foundations and other funding organizations; U.S. Federal and State government agencies; research centers; and medical and allied health schools.

First aid manual. Jon R. Krohmer, medical editor. (American College of Emergency Physicians) New York, DK Pub. (2nd American ed., 2004)
   RC86.8.F565 <SciRR>

Griffith's 5 minute clinical consult. Baltimore, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Annual. (2005)
   RC55.A12 <SciRR>
   This is a quick medical reference for current diagnosis and treatment.

Handbook for mortals: guidance for people facing serious illness. Joanne Lynn, Joan Harrold and the Center to Improve Care of the Dying, George Washington University. New York, Oxford University Press, 1999. 242 p.
   R726.8.H353 1999 <SciRR>

Handbook of diseases. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (3rd ed., 2004)
   RC55.H265 <SciRR>

Handbook of signs & symptoms. Ambler, PA, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (3rd ed., 2006)
    RC69.H246 <SciRR>

Harrison's principles of internal medicine. Edited by Dennis Kaspar, and others. New York, McGraw-Hill. 2 v. (16th ed., 2005)
   RC46.H333 <SciRR>

The Harvard Medical School family health guide. Edited by Anthony L. Komaroff. New York, Free Press. (2005)
   RC81.H38 <SciRR>
   Online companion:
   The companion has updates for the family health guide; an emergency & first aid section; and a “your disease risk” assessment resource.

Informed decisions: the complete book of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Edited by Harmon Eyre, and others. Atlanta, American Cancer Society. (2nd ed., 2002)
   RC262.I4985 <SciRR>
   More information:

Introduction to reference sources in the health sciences. 4th ed. Compiled and edited by Jo Anne Boorkman, Jeffrey Huber and Fred Roper. New York, Neal-Schuman Publishers, c2004. 389 p.
   Z6658.I54 2004 <SciRR Desk>
   Classic reference work and the premier guide to health science reference sources.

Magill’s medical guide. Medical consultants, Anne Chang, and others. Pasadena, CA, Salem Press. 4 v. (3rd rev. ed., 2005)
   RC41.M34 <SciRR>
   Medical encyclopedia with references and index

Medical and health information directory. Farmington Hills, Mich., Gale Group, 2001. 3 v. Irregular. (17th ed., 2005)
   R118.4.U6 M43 <SciRR Desk>
   v.1--medical and health-related organizations, agencies and institutions (national, international, state & regional organizations, foundations, funding, consulting, peer review & medical ethics organizations, hospital management & pharmaceutical companies, Federal & State government agencies, Federal domestic assistance programs, university & other nonprofit research centers, Federal government research agencies, facilities & programs, medical & allied health schools.
   v.2--medical and health-related publications, libraries, and other information resources (journals & magazines, abstracting & indexing services, newsletters, directories, publishers, electronic resources, U.S. and Canadian libraries and information centers, internet search engines).
   v.3--clinics, treatment centers, care programs, and counseling/diagnostic services.

The Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy. Edited by Mark H. Beers and Robert Berkow. Whitehouse Station, NJ, Merck. (17th ed., 1999)
   RC55.M4 <SciRR>
   The Web site has The Merck manual of diagnosis and therapy(RC55.M4);
   The Merck manual of health & aging (RA777.5.M47 2004 <SciRR>);
   The Merck manual of geriatrics (RC952.55.M47 2000 <SciRR>); and
   The Merck manual of medical information–home edition(RC81.M535 2003 <SciRR>).



Bartolucci, Susan L., and Pat Forbis. Stedman’s medical eponyms. Baltimore, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2nd ed., 2005)
   R121.F67 <SciRR Dict>

Davis, Neil M. Medical abbreviations: 15,000 conveniences at the expense of communications and safety. 10th ed. Huntingdon Valley, PA, N.M. Davis Associates. (11th ed., 2003)
   R123.D35 <SciRR Dict>
   24,000 current acronyms, symbols and other medical abbreviations and their 22,000 possible meanings, plus a cross-referenced list of 3,300 generic and brand drug names. Lists dangerous abbreviations which may be misinterpreted and a section on normal lab values.

Dictionary of medical acronyms & abbreviations. Compiled and edited by Stanley Jablonski. Philadelphia, Elsevier Saunders. (5th ed., 2004)
   R123.J24 <SciRR Dict>

Dorland's illustrated medical dictionary. Philadelphia, Saunders. (30th ed., 2003)
   R121.D73 <SciRR Desk>

Lagua, Rosalinda T., and Virginia S. Claudio. Nutrition and diet therapy reference dictionary. 5th ed. Ames, IA, Blackwell Pub., c2004. 407 p.
   RM217.L34 2004 <SciRR Dict>

Mosby’s dictionary of complementary and alternative medicine. Edited by Wayne B. Jonas. St. Louis, Mosby, c2005. 519 p.
   R733.M678 2005 <SciRR Dict>

Mosby's medical, nursing, and allied health dictionary. Edited by Douglas M. Anderson, and others. St. Louis, Mosby. (6th ed., 2002)
   R121.M89 <SciRR Dict>

Taber's cyclopedic medical dictionary. Philadelphia, F. A. Davis Co. Quadrennial. (20th ed., 2005)
   R121.T18 <SciRR Dict>

Tsur, Samuel A. Elsevier’s dictionary of abbreviations, acronyms, synonyms, and symbols used in medicine. Amsterdam, San Diego, Elsevier. (2nd enl. ed, 2004)
   R121.T787 <SciRR Dict>

Winter, Ruth. A consumer's dictionary of food additives. 5th ed. New York, Three Rivers Press. (revised and updated 6th ed., 2004)
   TX553.A3 W55 <SciRR Dict>



Fischbach, Frances Talaska, and Marshall Barrett Dunning. A manual of laboratory and diagnostic tests. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (7th ed., 2004)
   RB38.2.F57 <SciRR>

Mosby's guide to physical examination. Edited by Henry M. Seidel, and others. St. Louis, Mosby. (5th ed., 2003)
   RC76.M63 <SciRR>

Professional guide to diagnostic tests. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, c2005. 1106 p.
   RB37.P735 2005 <SciRR>

Rosenfeld, Isadore. Power to the patient: the treatments to insist on when you're sick. New York, Warner Books, c2002. 448 p.
   RC81.R829 2002 <SciRR>



AHFS drug information current developments. Bethesda, MD., American Society of Hospital Pharmacists, Inc. Annual, with quarterly supplements. (2005)
   RS131.2.A47 <SciRR>

Complete guide to prescription & nonprescription drugs. New York, Berkley Publishing Group. Annual. (2005)
   RM301.15.C65 <SciRR>

Conn's current therapy. Edited by Robert E. Rakel, M.D. and Edward T. Bope, M.D. Philadelphia, Elsevier Saunders. Annual. (2005)
   RM101.C87 <SciRR>

Consumer drug reference. Yonkers, N.Y., Consumer Reports, Consumers Union/Thomas MICROMEDEX and the U.S. Pharmacopeia. Annual. (2004 ed.)
   RS51.U65 <SciRR Desk>

Drug interaction facts. Edited by David Tatro. St. Louis, Facts & Comparisons, Walters Kluwer Health. Annual. (2005)
   RM302.D76 <SciRR>

The Johns Hopkins consumer guide to drugs. Medical editor, Simeon Margolis, M.D. Prepared by the editors of the Johns Hopkins medical letter: health after 50. Redding, CT, Medletter Associates. (2005)
   RM301.12.J636 <MRR>
   Features information for older consumers.

Physician's desk reference: PDR. Montvale, NJ, Thomson PDR. Annual. (59th ed., 2005)
   RS75.P5 <SciRR Desk>
   See also:
   PDR companion guide (to drug interactions, side effects, indications, contraindications). Annual. (58th ed., 2004)
      RS75.P37 <SciRR Desk>
   PDR for nonprescription drugs and dietary supplements. Annual. (25th ed., 2004)
      RM671.A1P48 <SciRR Desk>
   PDR for herbal medicines. Irregular. (3rd ed., 2004)
      RS164.P375 <SciRR Desk>

The Pill book. Harold M. Silverman, editor-in-chief. New York, Bantam Dell. (11th ed., 2004)
   RS51.P55 <SciRR>

The United States pharmacopeia. Rockville, MD, United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc. Quinquennial. (27th revision, 2004, includes National Formulary, 22nd ed. and supplements)
   RS141.2.P5 <SciRR Desk>

USP dictionary of USAN and international drug names. Rockville, MD, United States Pharmacopeial Convention, Inc. Annual.
   RS55.U54 <SciRR Desk>



Fontaine, Karen Lee, and Bill Kaszubski. Absolute beginner’s guide to alternative medicine. Indianapolis, IN, Que, c2004. 365 p.
   R733.F66 2004 <SciRR>

American Herbal Products Association's botanical safety handbook. Edited by Michael McGuffin. Boca Raton, Fla., CRC Press, c1997. 231 p.
   RA1250.A44 1997 <SciRR>

Anspaugh, David J., Michael H. Hemrich, and Frank D. Rosato. Wellness: concepts and applications. 4th ed. Boston, McGraw-Hill. (6th ed., 2006)
   RA776.A57 <SciRR>

Cataldo, Corinne Balog, Linda Kelly DeBruyne and Eleanor Noss Whitney. Nutrition and diet therapy: principles and practice. Belmont, CA, Thomson/Wadsworth. (6th ed., 2003)
   RM216.C36 <SciRR>

The Complete German Commission E monographs: therapeutic guide to herbal medicines. Developed by a special expert committee of the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices; senior editor, Mark Blumenthal. Austin, TX., American Botanical Council; Boston, Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998. 685 p.
   RM666.H33 C67 1998 <SciRR>

D'Amelio, Frank S. Botanicals: a phytocosmetic desk reference. Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press, c1999. 361 p.
   RS164.D274 1999 <SciRR>

Donatelle, Rebecca J. Access to health. . San Francisco, Pearson/Benjamin Cummings. (9th ed., 2006)
   RA776.D66 <SciRR>
   Also by Donatelle: Health: the basics. (6th ed., 2005) RA776.D663

Ebadi, Manuchair S. Pharmacodynamic basis of herbal medicine. Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press, c2002. 726 p.
   RM666.H33E23 2002 <SciRR>

Encyclopedia of human nutrition. Edited by Benjamin Caballero, and others. San Diego, Academic Press. 4 v. (2nd ed., 2005)
   QP141.E526 <SciRR>

Foster, Steven, , and Varro E. Tyler. Tyler's honest herbal: a sensible guide to the use of herbs and related remedies. 4th ed. New York, Haworth Herbal Press, c1999. 442 p.
   RM666.H33T94 1999 <SciRR>

Griffith, H. Winter. Vitamins, herbs, minerals & supplements: the complete guide. Rev. ed. Tucson, Ariz., Fisher Books, c1998. 504 p.
   QP771.G75 1998 <SciRR>

Fugh-Berman, Adriane. The 5-minute herb and dietary supplement consult. Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, c2003. 475 p.
   RM666.H33F835 2003 <SciRR>

The Handbook of clinically tested herbal remedies. Edited by Marilyn Barrett. New York, Haworth Herbal Press, c2004. 2 v.
   RM666.H33H363 2004 <SciRR>

Harkness, Richard, and Steven Bratman. Drug-herb-vitamin interactions bible: from A-Z, know the dangers and benefits of combining drugs, herbs, and vitamins. Roseville, CA, Prima, c2000. 430 p.
   RM302.H3675 2000 <SciRR>

Natural medicines comprehensive database. Edited by Jeff M. Jellin, and others. Compiled by the editors of Pharmacist’s letter, Prescriber’s letter. Stockton, CA, Therapeutic Research Faculty. (6th ed., 2004)
   RM258.5.N38 <SciRR>

Navarra, Tova. The encyclopedia of complementary and alternative medicine. New York, Facts on File, c2004. 276 p.
   R733.N38 2004 <SciRR>

Navarra, Tova. The encyclopedia of vitamins, minerals, and supplements. 2nd ed. New York, Facts on File, c2004. 353 p.
   QP771.E53 2004 <SciRR>

Peirce, Andrea. The American Pharmaceutical Association practical guide to natural medicines. New York, Morrow, c1999. 728 p.
   RM666.H33 P45 1999 <SciRR>

Professional’s handbook of complementary and alternative medicines. Springhouse, PA, Springhouse Corporation. (2nd ed., 2004)
   RM666.H33P765 <SciRR>

Robbers, James E., and Varro E. Tyler. Tyler's herbs of choice: the therapeutic use of phytomedicinals. New York, Haworth Herbal Press, c1999. 287 p.
   RM666.H33 R6 1999 <SciRR>

Skidmore-Roth, Linda. Mosby’s handbook of herbs & natural supplements. St. Louis, Mosby. (2nd ed., 2004)
   RM666.H33 S575 <SciRR>

Swartzberg, John Edward, and Sheldon Margen. The complete home wellness handbook: home remedies, prevention, self-care. With the editors of the UC Berkeley wellness letter. New York, Rebus, c2001. 672 p.
   RC81.S9685 2001 <SciRR>

Whitney, Eleanor Noss, and Sharon Rady Rolfes. Understanding nutrition. Belmont, CA, Thomson/Wadsworth. (10th ed., 2005).
   QP141.W46 <SciRR>



AHA guide to the health care field. Chicago, American Hospital Association. Annual. (2005)
   RA977.A1A46 <SciRR Desk>

America's best hospitals.
   U.S. News & World Report issues an annual guide to America's best hospitals, usually in the July issue of the magazine (see HOSPITALS vertical file in SciRR for current guide) You can also find this information on their Web site: (click on "health" and go to best hospitals).

The Directory of hospital personnel. Millerton, NY, Grey House Pub. Annual. (6th ed., 2004)
   RA977.D4718 <SciRR Desk>
   Profiles of U.S. hospitals, plus key decision makers.

Directory of nursing homes. Baltimore, HCIA Inc. Annual. (2001)
   RA997.A2D49 <SciRR>

Hospital blue book. Atlanta Billian Pub. Annual. (2003)
   RA981.A2H56 <SciRR Desk>

HMO/PPO directory. Millerton, NY, Grey House Pub. Annual. (16th ed., 2004)
   RA413.5.U5H586 <SciRR Desk>
   Profiles of U.S. managed healthcare organizations & key decision makers.

The Johns Hopkins medical handbook: the 100 major medical disorders of people over the age of 50: plus a directory to the leading teaching hospitals, research organizations, treatment centers, and support groups. Medical editor, Simeon Margolis. New York, Rebus, 1999. 652 p.
   RC952.55.J64 1999 <SciRR>
   Although the information is dated, a useful section is “teaching hospitals.” These hospitals are listed by state & city with their teaching specialties and also listed by disorder.

Sherer, David, and Maryann Karinch. Dr. David Sherer’s hospital survival guide: 100+ ways to make your hospital stay safe and comfortable. Washington, Claren Books, c2003. 309 p.
    RA965.6.S53 2003 <SciRR>



Consumer reports on health. Current issues only <N&CPR>

Harvard health letter. RC81.A1H35 <SciRR>
   URL: (for all Harvard health newsletters)

Harvard men’s health watch. Current issues only <N&CPR>

Harvard women's health watch. Current issues only <N&CPR>

Health. (San Francisco) RA773.H254 <SciRR-UCR>

Health News. <SciRR-UCR>

HerbalGram. (Herb Research Foundation; American Botanical Council) RS164.H375 <SciRR>

Johns Hopkins medical letter: health after 50. <SciRR-UCR>

Nutrition action health letter. (Center for Science in the Public Interest) <SciRR>

Prevention magazine. RA421.P68 <SciRR>

Tufts University health & nutrition letter. <SciRR-UCR>

University of California, Berkeley, wellness letter. <SciRR-UCR>




   The U. S. Government’s official Web portal. In the “information by topic” section, click on health and nutrition.
   A portal to the Web sites of a number of multi-agency health initiatives and activities of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and other federal departments and agencies.

National Food Safety Initiative
   Gateway to U. S. Government food safety information.
   This Web site leads to all federal recalls, including consumer products, food, medicines, cosmetics and environmental products. Reporting agencies include the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
   Search 17 U. S. Government science organizations within 12 federal agencies. Click on health and medicine or agriculture and food.


U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
   This consumer website directs users to information on "smart nutrition."  The USDA's MyPyramid food guide was replaced by MyPlate, which illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal, and guides the individual in making healthy choices to fill the plate (

Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC)
   FNIC is one of several information centers at the National Agricultural Library. Among the features of this Web site are an A-Z list of food and nutrition topics, food safety, dietary supplements, food composition, dietary guidelines, the food guide pyramid, and various reports and studies.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

HHS Home
   This site has an incredible collection of information: diseases and conditions; safety and wellness; drug and food; disasters and emergencies; grants and funding; families and children; aging; specific populations (men, women, children, seniors, disabled, racial and ethnic minorities, homeless); resource locators for healthcare providers and healthcare facilities; policies and regulations; and reference collections (dictionaries, databases, publications, statistics and reports).

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
   The mission of the AHRQ is to improve the quality, efficiency, safety and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. Of interest is the section for consumers and patients, which has information on health plans, health insurance and on quality of care.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
   The CDC home page links to current topics, travelers’ health information, vaccines and immunization information, an alphabetical health topic index, publications list, state and national data and statistics, and more. Direct access to a variety of CDC reports, guidelines and other data is available at

Other CDC Web sites:

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
   NCHS is responsible for the collection, analyses, and dissemination of health statistics. An index of subjects, FASTATS A-Z, gives the researcher the latest statistics and links to comprehensive reports.

The CDC National Prevention Information Network (NPIN)
   Telephone: 1-800-458-5231 (M-F, 9a.m.-8p.m. ET)
   NPIN provides information on HIV, STD and TB prevention.

   In 1997 HHS launched this user-friendly, consumer-oriented Web site.

   Telephone: 1-800-Medicare
   Provided by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In addition to general information on Medicare and benefits, there is a Nursing Home Database (“Nursing Home Compare”) listing every Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing home. A new feature is the beneficiary portal for personal information:

National Health Information Center (NHIC)
   The NHIC was established by HHS in 1979 by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion ( as a health information referral system. The Web site provides a list of the Federal Health Information Centers and Clearinghouses, a list of the annual National Health Observances, the current Toll-Free Numbers for Health Information, many publications, and a Health Information Resource Database.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
   NIH is one of the eight agencies of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. It consists of 27 separate institutes and centers. To access any of these off the home page, click on "institutes" and choose from the list for a direct link. Choose "health information" on the home page for links to Health Topics A-Z, body systems, conditions and diseases, and quick links to information on the health of children, men, women, seniors and minorities..

Among the NIH centers of interest to consumers is:

National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).
   Telephone: 1-888-644-6226
   The NCCAM Clearinghouse responds to inquiries and distributes publications.

National Library of Medicine (NLM)
   A wealth of information is offered by NLM, the world's largest medical library and a part of the National Institutes of Health. MEDLINE, its database of references and abstracts, is available as PubMed on this Web site. This is also the site for NLM's online catalog and many other medical databases. There is a link to the extensive list of databases on the home page. Among the databases are:

   NLM created MedlinePlus to help consumers more easily access health information (it is also available in Spanish). MedlinePlus provides extensive information on diseases, conditions, and wellness issues and has a dictionary, drug information, and directories to find doctors, dentists and hospitals.
   URL: provides regularly updated information about federally and privately supported clinical research in human volunteers. It states the trial’s purpose, who may participate, locations, and phone numbers for more details. This information should be used in conjunction with advice from health care professionals. There is also general information about clinical trials.
   See also: NIH clinical alerts and advisories
   NLM provides these alerts to expedite release of findings from the NIH-funded clinical trials where the release could significantly affect morbidity and mortality.

Household Products Database
   Health and safety information on household products, including Material Safety Data Sheets prepared by manufacturers.

PubMed Health
    PubMed Health is based on systematic reviews of clinical trials. These clinical effectiveness reviews can show what treatments and prevention methods have been proven to work—and what remains unknown.  PubMed Health provides summaries and full texts of selected systematic reviews in one place. The reviews were generally published or updated from 2003. There is also information for consumers and clinicians based on those reviews.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
   The FDA regulates food, drugs, medical devices, biologics, animal feed and drugs, cosmetics, and radiation-emitting products. The site has information on recalls and product safety, FDA activities, laws and regulations, and current news. There is an A-Z index for searching.


Alternative Medicine Foundation
   The Alternative Medicine Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1998 to provide responsible and reliable information about alternative medicine to the public and health professionals. The Foundation has a fee-based “AskMed” service.

American Association of Poison Control Centers
   For poison emergencies: 1-800-222-1222
Along with a listing of poison control centers, the Web site has a rumors section which deals with internet hoaxes and urban legends. There are links to relevant Web sites on toxicology, chemicals and pharmacology.

CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service
   Centerwatch includes listings of active industry and government-sponsored clinical trials, as well as new drug therapies in research and those recently approved by the FDA.

   The information in this Web site is provided to the public by Administrators in Medicine (AIM), a nonprofit organization whose members are State Medical and Osteopathic Board executives. The database contains licensing, background and disciplinary information on physicians and other health care practitioners, with more detailed medical malpractice, hospital discipline and criminal conviction information from participating state medical boards.
   This site has information on prescription and OTC drugs sold in the U.S. and is updated daily. It also includes a listing of pharmaceutical manufacturers with addresses and telephone numbers and a health encyclopedia that includes medical tests and surgeries with illustrations. Drug Information & Side Effects Database
  URL: is an easy to use, consumer-oriented database providing comprehensive information on the most commonly-prescribed drugs, as well as on OTC drugs and supplements.   It is a growing database which will eventually inform consumers about the top 1000 medications in the U.S.

eMedicine Consumer Health
   The parent company, eMedicine, has the largest and most current Clinical Knowledge Base available to physicians and other healthcare professionals. In 2003 it launched a consumer health Web site. Articles on the site are written by physicians and then reviewed by other physicians before publication.
   This health information Web site is from the American Academy of Family Physicians. It features a “smart patient guide” on managing health care, understanding health insurance and dealing with end-of-life issues.
    This database is a smorgasbord of health information, including health news, a symptom checker, drug information and interactions, pill identification, a doctor finder that finds a specialist who takes your particular insurance and health topics from A to Z.

   This Web site was conceived to make it easier to connect people dealing with the same medical condition. It features message boards offering support on over 140 diseases, conditions and topics. Detailed information on health topics is provided through a partnership with WebMD.

Kaiser Family Foundation
   The Kaiser Family Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation focusing on the major health care issues facing the nation. Through its website you will find many reports, polls and statistics.
   See also:

   KidsHealth was created by the Nemours Foundation and received an excellent rating by Consumer Reports in its September 2005 issue. The Web site has separate sections for parents, kids and teens.

Lab Tests Online
   Lab Tests Online is organized by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) and is a collaboration among professional societies representing the clinical laboratory community. All the information a patient or caregiver needs to understand clinical lab tests is available here
   This is Mayo Clinic’s consumer site with information on diseases, conditions and treatment options, drugs, first aid, a healthy living centers feature and a free weekly email newsletter.

National Council Against Health Fraud (NCAHF)
   NCAHF is a consumer organization dealing with health misinformation, fraud and quackery.There are links to its allied Web sites, such as Quackwatch, a guide to quackery and fraud run by Stephen Barrett, M.D. at: and Barrett’s Diet Scam Watch at:

National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC)
   NARIC provides a gateway to disability and rehabilitation-oriented information. Their largest database is Rehabdata from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Education. Information brochures prepared by NARIC librarians on special topics are available for download, and there is also live online help. The NIDRR also provides disability information on its ABLEDATA Web site at:

Patient Advocate Foundation
   Patient Advocate Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability. Foundation caseworkers help patients find local, state and federal programs that provide assistance for their individual needs.

Rxlist--The Internet Drug Index
   Rxlist provides drug information for both consumers and professionals. It has an advanced search engine which allows searching by drug name, keyword, ID imprint code or NDC. Taber’s Medical Encyclopedia is available on the Web site.

Shape Up America!
   Shape Up America! is a nonprofit organization committed to raising awareness of obesity as a health issue. It was founded by former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D. The site has fitness and nutrition information, a support center to help users stay motivated, and information on the U.S. Government’s 10,000 steps program.

   A popular site featuring news, information on drugs and herbs, diseases and conditions, and health and wellness. There is a special program to check symptoms, information on medical tests, and a service to locate a physician and make an appointment. Another Web site from WebMD is Medscape:, which provides free access to selected journal contents and medical specialty sites after free registration.


BioMed Central
   BioMed Central is an open access publisher of research from 39 countries. A number of journals require an institutional or a personal subscription to view other content, such as reviews or paper reports. Free trial subscriptions to these journals are available. There is also a biology image library.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
   The Directory aims to cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content (peer review or editorial quality control). It is coordinated by Lund University Libraries in Sweden.

Faculty of 1000
   Faculty of 1000 Biology and Medicine are authoritative online services in which over 5,000 leading researchers and clinicians share their expert opinions by highlighting and evaluating the most important articles in biology and medicine.

   Both Web sites are products of Flying Publisher, a company which promotes free access to medical information.

HighWire Press
   HighWire Press is a division of the Stanford University Libraries. As the leading ePublishing platform, HighWire Press partners with independent scholarly publishers, societies, associations, and university presses to facilitate the digital dissemination of 1329 journals, reference works, books, and proceedings.

Hindawi Publishing Corporation
   Hindawi is a rapidly growing academic publisher with more than 200 open access journals covering a wide range of academic disciplines, including medicine.

   MedBioWorld is one of the Internet’s largest medical and bioscience information resource and reference portals. The portal provides access to medical and biotechnology journals, associations, databases and other medical resources.

   Medknow, with over 95 print + online journals, is the largest open access publisher of print journals in the world which does not charge authors or author institutions for submission, processing or publication of articles. Each journal published by Medknow has its independent Web site.

Medline (PubMed)
   MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's premier bibliographic database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences. There are links to full text, although many of the citations have only abstracts.

National Academies Press (National Academies of Science)
   Hundreds of books and reports can be downloaded free from NAP.

NCBI Bookshelf
   The National Center for Biotechnology Information Bookshelf is a growing collection of online biomedical books and is one of the databases at NLM/NIH. It can also be accessed through the NLM Web site.

The Online Books Page
   The Online Books Page was founded, and is edited, by John Mark Ockerbloom, who is a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. The University Library hosts the Web site. The purpose of the Web site is to facilitate access to books that are freely readable over the Internet. There is an index to thousands of books, pointers to directories and archives of online texts, and special exhibits of particularly interesting classes of online books.

PLoS Medicine
   PLoS Medicine is a peer-reviewed, open access journal published by the nonprofit organization Public Library of Science (PLoS).

PubMed Central
   PubMed Central is a digital archive of life sciences journal literature at NIH and is managed by NIH’s National Center for Biotechnology Information in the National Library of Medicine.

Compiled by Stephanie Marcus
Updated August 2010

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