to Visit on the Net
By John Hunter
If I had known I would live this long, I'd have taken
better care of myself, observed W.C. Fields. Thats what most
of us wind up thinking as the cumulative effects of age and bad habits
shape the way we live.
Most of us are able to cope with the minor aches and pains we encounter
without much difficulty. But some of us require medical advice to help
us cope with more major problems. The web provides a bazillion sites that
offer medical information helpbut some sites are better than others.
If you need medical information, here are some sites to explore.
As you might expect, the U.S. government leads the list in providing consumer
medical information at www.healthfinder.gov.
This site provides a gateway for consumers, to improve consumer
access to selected health information from government agencies
other reliable sources that serve the public interest.
The homepage for this site offers a menu of menus: health library, just
for you, health care, and directory of healthfinder®organizations.
Click on the library and up comes information by topic: prevention &
wellness; diseases & conditions; alternative medicine; and featured
topics. Or you can click on special resources and find: databases; FAQs;
medical dictionaries; health and medical journals; medical encyclopedia;
national health observances; online checkups; prescription drug information;
public libraries; and quality of health information.
Click again on databases and you will find lists of databases from A to
W. Just for the fun of it I clicked on M. Up came databases for Macular
Degeneration, Malignant Neoplasm, Mammography, Massage Therapy, Medical
and so forth. You get the idea. The site provides all this
in Spanish as well as English and is easy to navigate.
Another site to look at is www.healthweb.org.
This is a site developed by librarians and information professionals from
midwestern medical institutions. The homepage for this site provides a
list from Aids & HIV to veterinary medicine and womens health.
The site also provides a user guide to help investigators use Internet
resources more effectively.
A click on rheumatology and you find general resources, discussion groups,
educational resources, and electronic journals. You can also type in a
specific term and do a key word search of the entire Healthweb database
or limit the search to rheumatology only.
A third site is the ubiquitous medical site at www.cdc.gov,
the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We have been to this site
on other occasions and find it comprehensive and easy to use.
A fourth site can be found at www.hivinsite.ucsf.edu/.
This is a project of the University of California at San Francisco AIDS
Research Institute. This is a gateway to information about particular
aspects of HIV/AIDS and provides links to many authoritative sources.
Subjects are arranged by key topics and the site may also be searched
by key words.
The Mayo Clinic provides the next site at www.mayoclinic.com.
This site includes interactive tools to help consumers manage their health.
You can also sign up for a free e-newsletter. This months newsletter
begins with Boning up on back to school health.
Still another site to investigate is www.medlineplus.gov.
This site is a consumer oriented Web site established by the National
Library of Medicine, the world's largest biomedical library and creator
of the MEDLINE database.
The homepage for this site provides 600 health topics; drug information;
a medical encyclopedia; a medical dictionary; health news from the past
30 days; directories of doctors, dentists and hospitals; and other resources
such as local libraries, health organizations and more.
This month the site also features information on healthy web surfing,
and an article on evaluating health information. You can also access more
than 165 interactive tutorials, information about clinical trials, and
National Institute of Health SeniorHealth information.
If you are interested in cancer related information, try www.oncolink.upenn.edu.
This University of Pennsylvania site provides information on various forms
of cancer as well as issues of interest to cancer patients and their families.
The site may be searched by key word or by menus. Several menus include:
disease-oriented menus and medical specialty-oriented menus. Major areas
covered include: cancer causes, symptom management, clinical trials, psychosocial
support, cancer FAQs, and global resources.
Several other medical information sources to consider include www.medem.com.
This site is a project of several medical societies including the American
Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American
College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. WWW.4women.gov
is a gateway to selected womens health information. The site provides
information in Spanish as well as English. An alphabetical health topics
menu simplifies searches. The New York Online Access to Health site at
www.noah-health.org is a collection
of state, local and federal health resources.
Until next month . . .
John M. Hunter
Back to the top