Medical Sources and Information

This guide is designed to help you find answers to medical questions. The Internet Public Library is not equipped to answer specific medical questions because we are not doctors or health professionals. The best person to ask about health matters is your physician, but if you cannot get the answers you want from your doctor or if you want more information than what your doctor provides, there are many sources, both on the internet and in print, which might help you find the kind of information you seek. We wish you luck with your research.

Internet Resources | Information on Prescription Drugs | Print Sources | Ask A Doctor Services | Medical Libraries

Internet Resources:

Healia – your search for health
Great search engine for finding medical and health-related resources online. Results can then be personalized according to sex, age, medical authority, reading level, internet browser type, and more! Not a replacement for a doctor or professional but a great tool to for helping the health care consumer be better informed.

A link to health resources recommended by the U.S. Government. Searching this site will provide you with a list of online resources and/or organizations you can contact to find out more about a particular health condition. There are also links to online medical journals, state health departments and audiovisual resources.

Health O@sis
This site, based at the Mayo clinic, has a wide variety of resources with special sections on Women’s Health, Cancer, and Diet and Nutrition. Users can register to receive a free weekly newsletter, search for information on specific drugs, or just read the medical news of the week.

InteliHealth .
Based at Johns Hopkins University, the InteliHealth site provides links to pages from the American Medical Association site and the National Institutes of Health site, as well as an “Ask a Doc” service, information on prescription drugs, and a link to MedLine databases.

Although this site is very technical, it provides a wealth of current information, including medical headlines, a medical dictionary, and access to MedLine, ToxLine, and AIDSLine.


A comprehensive collection of current health issues and links to popular health magazines, such as “Shape” and “Men’s Health”. This site has information on just about anything you might want to know about health-related issues, including fitness, nutrition, medical conditions, and medications.


Reuters Health Information Service
A selection of current news articles on health issues. There is also a link to MedLine on this site.


This site contains information on diseases and treatments, a link to drug information, a medical dictionary and an “Ask the Experts” service.

American Medical Association.
A link to the American Medical Association homepage.

Yahoo’s list of Medicine Resources
Yahoo’s very comprehensive list of links related to medical topics. This would be a good place to start if you do not know exactly what you want to find.

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Information on Prescription Drugs:

The RXMed site provides links to patient handouts for many medications and general drug information. http://pharminfo.com/
Information on various drugs, as well as disease-specific information and discussion groups. This site appears to be updated daily, with a section devoted to a daily topic, such as dietary supplements.

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Print Sources:

There are many books to choose from about general medical topics. If you are interested in learning more about general medicine, you might consider looking for some of the following titles in your library or bookstore:

The Merck Manual of Medical Information: Home Edition (1st Edition)
By: Robert Berkow (Editor), Mark H. Beers (Editor), Andrew J. Fletcher (Editor)
The Physician’s Desk Reference Family Guide Encyclopedia of Medical Care: 1998
Family Health and Medical Guide
By: Editors of Consumer Guide (Editor), Ira J. Chasnoff (Editor)

You can also ask your librarian for help finding more books about specific topics that interest you. If you wish to purchase books about medicine or medically-related topics online, try:

Amazon Books

Barnes and Noble Booksellers

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Ask A Doctor Services:

Mayo Clinic’s Ask a Specialist


Ask A Pharmacist


Yahoo’s Page of “Ask A Doctor” Services


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Medical Libraries

Hardin MD


A link to the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences at the University of Iowa. This site contains links suggested by medical professionals in each discipline.

Jonathan Tward’s Multimedia Medical Reference Library
This collection of online medical reference resources contains a medical dictionary, links to video and sounds clips, access to medical journals, and chat rooms.

National Library of Medicine
A link to the National Library of Medicine page.

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Other Ways to Search for Information on Medical Issues:

If you would like more information on medical issues and you cannot find what you’re looking for through any of the above resources, you might want to try performing an internet search. By using a search engine, you can specify what kind of medical information you want to find. Good luck!

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This pathfinder was created by Kendra L. Spiegel

You may also wish to see: IPL: Health and Medical Sciences Resources | The IPL Youth Collection of Online Resources for Dewey 613: Health