Sunday, December 21, 2008
Where to Get Medical Info Online
The internet is such a fabulous tool. It is amazing that just 10 years ago we didn't have it and our library or encyclopedias were the way to gather information. How very last century!!!
With over 80% of Internet users searching the web for medical information, I thought I'd recommend some sites that are valid and reputable. Sure, you can google a word but you are likely to end up on commercial sites with advertising or some one's blog talking about Aunt Tilly.
The next time you have medical questions go here:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - the site is a little dense, but the search bar is easy. The only problem is it leads to many scientific articles that might be hard for the layman to interpret.
Cancer.gov - Expect to spend a lot of time learning here. The search bar will take you to multiple options, including an overview on the type of cancer and scientific articles on clinical trials and treatments. It is a good site to gather information and then take it to your physician for explanation and fine tuning it to your own situation.
Mayo Clinic- This site is also busy but has a neat feature where you can look up a symptom. Most people don't know if their symptom is serious or is really a disease. Mayo gives you some good options about what your symptom (think: back pain, cough, painful eye etc.) could be. They have health tools like heart disease risk calculator and even healthy recipes.
Kids Health - What a great resource for parents. Kids Health articles are reviewed by physicians for accuracy and they cover every subject from prenatal through teen. The emotion and behavior section covers"cutting", "what happens when dad returns from war", "divorce", "bullies" and you name it. The articles are not superficial.
The Q&A section also has multiple topics that are fun and useful. A parent or curious kid could spend a lot of time on this site and learn a great deal.
WebMD- Another busy and fun site with something for everyone. It has a symptom checker, Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator, message boards, ask the expert, and even a pill identifier. Articles are verified by a physician and it is overall an easy site for someone who is not medically trained. It does have advertising but they are easily identified and labeled as "advertising".
My favorite article of the day is a link under "getting wasted".
You may have other health sites to share. Book mark these and you will be covered for most health questions and online information.
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 8:35 AM