Medicine and Health


Several health-related government agencies sponsor this Web site, which provides information on federally and privately funded HIV/AIDS clinical trials and treatment. Find treatment and prevention guidelines, information about drugs approved for HIV treatment and investigational drugs, clinical trials, preventive and therapeutic vaccines, and other resources. A useful feature of the site breaks down the vast amounts of information by type of visitor; i.e., patient, researcher, provider or student. Under "researcher," you will find a briefly annotated list of available databases.

AMA On-line Doctor Finder

The American Medical Association offers a search tool for finding physicians by name or by specialty. Information provided includes name, office location, phone, certification, professional status, education and residency.

The American Hospital Directory

Supplied primarily with data collected from the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and SK&A Information Services, this site offers a mix of free and fee-based information. Typical hospital entries in the free category include hospital name, address, telephone number, Medicare provider number, organization type (e.g., voluntary nonprofit), number of beds, subproviders and distinct units, services, limited financials (gross patient revenue, non-patient revenue, net income/loss), and inpatient/outpatient utilization statistics.

Anatomy Atlases

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., a retired professor of anatomy, provides an online library of information about anatomy, which has been taken from various textbooks. While there is some commentary, most of the information consists of drawings or illustrations. The drawings come from texts that include an English-language translation of the 1841 atlas entitled "Handbuch der Anatomie des Menschen," "A Cross-Section Anatomy" (1911), Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy (1999), Anatomy of First Aid (2004), and others.

Article Finder from Infotrieve

Document delivery service, Infotrieve, offers a database of bibliographic citations and article abstracts. It includes information from more than 54,000 journals and covers disciplines, such as science, technology, medicine and law. Query the database for free. Purchase full-text copies of articles directly from the site. Coverage extends back to 1966.

Atlas of Diseases of the Kidney

Robert W. Schrier, Professor and Chairman, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, edits this multi-volume text on kidney diseases. Published by Blackwell Science, the online edition currently carries the same copyright date (1999) as the print edition. The full-text of each volume is available for free. The site features simple and advanced search interfaces, high resolution images, and PowerPoint presentations.



The American Board of Medical Specialties offers fee-based access to data available in The Official ABMS Directory of Board Certified Medical Specialists. According to site documentation, both the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and the Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) have designated the directory and the Web site as official primary sources for verifying physician certification. A free trial subscription is available.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) on PubMed

The National Library of Medicine and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine team to bring CAM to PubMed. The database offers bibliographic information and abstracts as well as links to full-text articles when available.

Cancer Facts & Figures

The American Cancer Society publishes statistics about cancer incidents and mortality every year. This Web site contains data from 1997 to present on cancer incidence, mortality, survival and cancer risk factors. It provides annual estimates of expected new cancer cases and deaths. A special section covers cancer disparities by race or ethnicity and socioeconomic status. You can review popular tables individually, or display the entire document (PDF). The annual documents also contain additional related facts such as environmental cancer risks and nutrition and physical activity.


Written for the layperson, this site offers educational materials on "the biology of cancer. [It makes] no assumptions ... about prior knowledge of biology or cancer."

Learn about how cells work in order to understand what goes wrong. Topics include cell structure, cell division, gene mutation and types of cancer. The site also addresses diagnosis and detection, treatment, current research and current clinical trials.

CDC Wonder

This utility serves as a gateway to a wide variety of information available from the Centers for Disease Control. Find articles from Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), prevention guidelines, mortality statistics, cancer statistics, and a variety of other public health data.

Chirobase: A Skeptical Guide to Chiropractic History, Theories, and Current Practices

Three medical professionals, one of which also maintains the popular medical myth debunking Web site, Quackwatch, provide this guide to information about chiropractic theories and practices. Updated at irregular intervals, the guide highlights suspicious practices and bad information. It offers articles covering dangers to patients, questionable practice-building techniques, investigations, diagnostic and treatment practices, insurance issues, advertising, education and more.

The National Library of Medicine introduces, a database of information about clinical research on diseases and conditions. Researchers may narrow their queries to find only currently open clinical trials. The database, however, contains information about closed studies as well. Typical entries include sponsor's name, a description of the trial's purpose, the diseases or conditions to be studied, links to the Library's research guide (MEDLINEplus) for additional information about the diseases or conditions, the study type, its official title, eligibility requirements, physical location, and sources of additional information.

Cochrane Reviews

The Cochrane Collaboration, an international non-profit organization "dedicated to making up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of healthcare readily available worldwide," offers free search access to its database of Cochrane Reviews. The Reviews assess the effects of healthcare interventions "to help ensure that healthcare decisions throughout the world can be informed by high quality, timely research evidence." Searchers may display abstracts of the reviews free of charge. Full access requires a subscription.

Deciphering Medspeak

The Medical Library Association maintains this Web site/publication for understanding medical terms and prescription shorthand. It provides plain English definitions for select medical terminology. It also explains some of the abbreviations or symbols you might find in medical writing or prescriptions.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Published every 5 years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the guidelines provide information about healthy dietary habits for people ages two and older. You can download the entire pamphlet in PDF, or review the executive summary (PDF) or related materials. The Web site also links to related materials from government agencies.

Disease Information

This page within the Web site of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indexes diseases and related topics and links to their corresponding Web documents. It makes finding quality information about certain diseases easy.

Diseases Database

Medical Object Oriented Software Enterprises Ltd. serves as a cross-referenced index of human disease, medications, symptoms, signs, abnormal investigation findings and more. Search by keyword to find medical and common names, definitions (provided by the National Library of Medicine's Unified Medical Language System), Web sites devoted to the subject and pre-set queries in a number of databases. For example, the search for "lupus" (without quotations) returns several possible matches. Click one of these to find medical and common names for the disease, a UMLS definition, a chart of linked Web sites devoted to the topic and another chart of pre-formulated search queries for databases like PubMed, On-line Medical Dictionary and more.

Doctor Disciplinary Information on State Web Sites

Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen grades the 50 states on their provision of health-related disciplinary information via the Web. Discover what individual states provide, where they provide it, and how easy or difficult the site is to use. Specifically, the reports cover the availability of information about disciplinary data on specific doctors, the action taken, the offense, a summary narrative, board orders, the doctor's personal information, license number, license expiration date, medical specialty, date of the action, and availability of at least 10 years of data. Another feature loads a chart of the grades for all states.

This site offers directories for locating physicians, hospitals and medical plans. Entries include basic information like name, address and telephone. Entries for physicians may also include medical school, year of graduation, certification status, and medical specialties.


The American Medical Association offers a search tool for finding physicians by name or specialty and state. Information provided includes AMA membership status, name, medical specialty, office location, phone and American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certification. For AMA members, information provided also includes hospital admitting privileges, health plan participation, Medicare and Medicaid acceptance, gender, foreign languages, education, residency, fax, office hours and more.

The Doe Report - Medical Images

The site offers samples of medical images and sells medical legal exhibits, anatomical models and illustrations. It conveniently arranges its samples into browseable categories including medical specialties and parts of the body.

Drug Information (MEDLINEplus)

The National Library of Medicine compiles information about prescription and over-the-counter medications from two drug sources--MedMaster, a product of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the USP DI Advice for the Patient, a product of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Browse the index by generic or brand drug name to find general and specific information, including brand names, public health warnings, precautions and more.

Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed)

The National Library of Medicine on drugs and other chemicals that affect breastfeeding mothers. Search by chemical name to find information about the levels of the chemical found in breast milk, suggested alternatives and citations in the medical literature.

This site provides both consumer and professional information about drugs, in English and Spanish. Conduct a search by drug name or condition to find information for consumers or professionals. Drug information for professionals includes indication, pharmacology, precautions, side effects, consultation and dosing, as well as, VA classification and brand names.

Information about conditions comes from the site's Care Guide, which is written for consumers. Consumers receive easy-to-read descriptions of the condition, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment. With respect to drug information, consumers receive plain English descriptions, highlights of key information about the drug, cautions about inappropriate uses or mixing the drug with certain foods, other medicine, or activities (like smoking), and more.

Another feature, with intriguing research potential, lets searchers find drugs by their shape and color.

From WebMD, eMedicine offers numerous peer-reviewed medical texts online free of charge. The texts I reviewed offered information about authors and editors as well as a form for sending questions to the authors or editors, the date the topic or chapter was last updated, a button that automatically ran a MEDLINE query on the topic, and another button for requesting email notification about updates to a topic.

eMedicine topics include dermatology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, pediatrics, sports medicine, and more. The site also offers consumer treatment guidelines and advice concerning wilderness emergencies.

Entrez, the Life Sciences Search Engine

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the National Library of Medicine, offers a cross-database search utility for life sciences information. The utility enables simultaneous searching of PubMed, PubMed Central, online books and many specialty databases. Initial results appear in the form of a count next to each database where the keywords are found. To display the results of a particular database, click the number next to it.


The American Association for the Advancement of Science offers this current awareness site for reading about the latest research in medicine, health, science and technology. Research institutions and scientific organizations, who have registered with the site, post news releases. On the day I visited, for example, I discovered a news release by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), dated for the next day, that summarized the findings of researchers who studied a possible connection between brain cancer and the use of cell phones.

The site offers a search engine, with advanced features, for finding older news.


The National Center for Health Statistics offers a subject index to statistical information related to health issues.

FDA Consumer Health Information

This Web site by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides information about food, drug, medical device safety and more.

FOI Online

FOI Services, Inc., a document retrieval company specializing in the retrieval of Food & Drug Administration (FDA) documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), offers a searchable library of over 150,000 documents it has collected since its inception during 1975. Search the library for free. Purchase individual documents, many of which are available online. To find FOIA documents pertinent to specific companies, query the company name omitting inc, co, ltd, etc. Database coverage includes documents pertaining to drugs, devices, food, veterinary medicine, and biologics, guidelines, inspection reports, and Espicom Market Research Reports.

Genetic Home Reference

The National Library of Medicine provides a Web site for consumers on genetic conditions, genes and chromosomes. It contains summaries of conditions, genes and chromosomes as well as a glossary of genetic and medical terms. It also offers an illustration of how genes work and how mutations cause disorders. Condition summaries explain the genetic cause and pattern of inheritance. They also link to related gene or chromosome information. Gene summaries give the official name and symbol. They also provide the gene's chromosomal location, and explain its normal function and how mutations in the gene cause particular genetic conditions. Chromosome summaries provide an estimate of the amount of DNA and number of genes for each chromosome.

A project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the site provides statistical data by country on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other key health and socio-economic indicators. You may browse data by topic or by country. The site enables downloading the data as tab-delimited text files for further analysis. It also enables printing or sending the data as an e-mail message.

Glossary of Health Care and Health Care Management Terms

Hosted by the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, the Glossary defines medical and health-related terms. Arranged alphabetically, many definitions include source information.

Gray's Anatomy, an online publisher of reference works and classical fiction, recently added the 1918 edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body to its collection. This version includes 1,247 illustrations and a subject index sporting 13,000 entries. To search Gray's Anatomy, go to the home page for the work. Then use the search feature at the top of the page.

Guide to Internet Resources for Cancer

Find an extensive directory of links to useful sources of information on cancer. According to the site's selection criteria, researchers will not find information about alternative cancer treatments. They will, however, find information about complementary treatments, as well as resources by non-profit organizations and free substantive information by commercial entities. The author's background is in statistics and computing, as well as in (non-medical) cancer research.

Health Affairs

Subtitled The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere, Health Affairs is a bimonthly journal published by Project HOPE. The Web site provides full-text articles, tables of contents and abstracts of article from the print edition as well as articles published exclusively on the Web site. Web exclusives "are selected based on their timeliness and relevance to the contemporary policy debate," and appear in full-text. Non-subscribers can display tables of contents, abstracts and selected full-text papers for free. They can also search the archives and receive email alerts. Subscribers, and those who opt to pay on a per use basis, can access all articles in full-text.

Health Information Resource Database

The National Health Information Center offers its database of information about health-related resources. Enter keywords (keep it simple) to retrieve information about organizations devoted to specific health topics. Abstracts include information about publications, Web sites, and contacts.

Health on the Net Foundation

This not-for-profit Swiss foundation provides a portal to health information on the Web. Some of its unique features include a Code of Conduct label for health sites providing authoritative trustworthy information, a search tool for finding medical literature, healthcare news, and Web sites by MeSH term and another search tool for finding medical Web sites by keyword.

Health Search

Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO), a medical software development company, offers this search engine for medical and health information. Health Search uses a technology it calls PHT (Personal Health Terminology) to provide focused results. PHT consists of various medical controlled vocabularies and advanced search features like stemming and sounds-like searching.

Fortunately, for the average searcher, this technology works behind the scenes. Searchers simply enter terms describing a medical condition, disease, procedure, or medication to find matching Web-based information. For example, I entered "claritin d" without quotations to find information about this allergy drug. This helpful engine noted that there are two types of Claritin-D (regular and 24 hour). Following the link for either will lead to matches, primarily from health sites, for this search.

Like the drug search above, clicking on "links" next to the disease name then retrieves Web-based information about systemic lupus. These links include those that automatically search MEDLINE (see links labelled NLM PubMed).


Developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in cooperation with various federal agencies, this resource assists researchers in finding "online publications, clearinghouses, databases, web sites, and support and self-help groups, as well as the government agencies and not-for-profit organizations that produce reliable [health-related] information for the public." offers brief profiles about hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, health plans, dentists, and other related businesses. Intended to assist consumers in selecting an appropriate hospital, the site enables searching by geography and medical condition. Researchers may not search by hospital or doctor name.


The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, a program of the National Library of Medicine, offers a series of pathfinders (research aids) on a variety of health and medical issues. While the pathfinders address specific questions, experienced researchers may select and follow the advice of one that best describes the research at hand. For example, a librarian whose patron seeks information on children with dyslexia, may follow the research advice outlined in the pathfinder, "How do I locate information that focuses on parenting children with Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD)?"

HighWire Press: Search Multiple Journals

HighWire Press, founded by Stanford University, assists in the publication of 210 online medical or science journals. It offers a database for searching the content of these journals.

Some journals require registration or paid subscription for full-text access.

HON List of Rare Diseases

Health On the Net (HON) Foundation provides a hyperlinked list of rare diseases. Click on the name of a disease to find MeSH (medical indexing used at PubMed) headings, synonyms and resources. Resources include medical definitions, articles, images, news, clinical trials and more. HON offers this information in five languages--English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

Human Anatomy On-Line

Informative Graphics offers an encyclopedia of human anatomy. The resource includes interactive pictures and descriptive text.

IBIDS Database

The International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements database contains bibliographic citations to published scientific literature on dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, and botanicals. The full IBIDS database enables keyword queries as well as searching by author, title, or publication year. Features include the ability to save or email bibliographic citations.

Searchers may opt to query the IBIDS Consumer Database or the Peer Reviewed Citations Only Database. The consumer database contains more consumer-oriented publications while the peer reviewed database contains information from peer reviewed literature only.

Inside the Brain: an Interactive Tour

The Alzheimer's Association illustrates how Alzheimer's disease affects the brain with a 16-part interactive presentation. It provides basic definitions, explains how a healthy brain works, and demonstrates what happens when Alzheimer's disease changes the brain. Related areas of the site provide more information about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and stages of the disease as well as related conditions.

Integrity in Science

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) offers a database of information about scientists and medical researchers with ties to companies, educational institutions, or non-profit organizations. It reveals brief information about the topic of research and who funded it. Search by scientist, topic, university, or company. Or browse information about non-profit institutions that fund medical or scientific research.


From the United Kingdom, Intute is a
free Humanities and Sciences portal - search or browse through medical
topics. Sources are evaluated by subject specialists from various UK
academic institutions.


The Kaiser Family Foundation provides a resource for health policy students and faculty, but researchers and others interested in health policy questions will find it useful. It provides annotated resource collections (called Reference Libraries) and "issue modules" on health policy issues such as the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, medical errors and health coverage for the uninsured. Modules include a background briefing, presentations, references to key information sources, information about key organizations, Webcasts and references to policy analyses, reports on public opinion and academic literature.

Lab Tests Online

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry, and other professional associations, collaborate to provide information about clinical lab tests. Learn about why a test might be given and how to interpret its results. The site also offers a library of conditions and diseases that links to associated lab tests. Also find information about tests given outside the lab (e.g., mammograms, ultrasounds), news, and more.


Publisher Reed Group, Ltd. offers a database
containing the content of The Medical Disability Advisor: Workplace
Guidelines for Disability Duration, Third Edition by Presley Reed, MD.
Access is by keyword(s) only. Enter a medical condition or surgery name
to find a description, synonyms, diagnosis information, treatment,
complications, predicted outcome, alternative potential diagnosis, and
specialty field of study.

This site comprises a network of Web sites designed for use by medical professionals.


Developed and managed by the Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine at the Wellcome Trust, and affiliated with the BIOME life sciences hub and the Resource Discovery Network (RDN), MedHist serves as a gateway to evaluated Web-based resources relating to the history of medicine. Indexed and abstracted resources cover all aspects of the history of health and the development of medical knowledge. Browse the directory by subject or search it by keyword. Advanced search features include the ability to limit results by resource type or time frame.

Medi Lexicon

Formerly Pharma-Lexicon, Medi Lexicon is a "dictionary of over 70,000 medical, pharmaceutical, biomedical and healthcare acronyms and abbreviations." It also provides search options for finding pharmaceutical companies, medical terms, medical articles, drugs, medical books and more. In the main navigational menu, Medi Lexicon refers visitors to hand-picked sites offering medical information and covering such topics as asthma, breast cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, cardiovascular diseases, psychiatry and prostate cancer. Many of the search results take users to other Web sites, but because they open in another browser window, it's easy to see when this happens.

Medical Dictionary

MedicineNet, a network of U.S. board certified physicians and health professionals, offers this index of medical terms. Medical professionals write and edit this resource.

Medical Matrix

Members of the American Medical Informatics Association's Internet Working Group monitor, evaluate and rate medical information sites. Their rating system ensures quality; even one-star sites provide "suitable clinical content."

Well-organized, the site annotates thousands of health-related resources.


MedicineNet, a network of U.S. board certified physicians and health professionals, provides health-related news and articles, articles and information about diseases and treatments as well as various medical procedures and tests, detailed information about drugs including much of what researchers can find in Physicians Desk Reference, a medical dictionary, information about how to provide first aid, and a directory of American Association of Poison Control Centers certified poison control centers. Medical professionals write and edit all content.


MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, it brings information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in understandable language MedlinePlus offers its information for free.

Merck Manuals Online Medical Library

A home edition for patients and caregivers.

Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals

The Merck Manual "provide[s] useful clinical information to practicing physicians, medical students, interns, residents, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care professionals in a concise, complete, and accurate manner." 

Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary

MInd: The Meetings Index

Publisher InterDok Corporation offers this complementary service to its Directory of Published Proceedings. MInd: The Meetings Index is a database containing information about meetings, conferences, symposia and other events that result in published proceedings. 

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

A service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, this clearinghouse provides encyclopedia-like information about diseases and conditions associated with diabetes, the digestive system or the kidneys. Essays often contain illustrations. It offers statistics, information about clinical trials and clinical practice guidelines, links to related associations, government agencies and databases, as well as Spanish translations of its publications. This is a good starting point for research pertaining to digestive disorders.

NCI Research Resources

The National Cancer Institute offers a directory of research tools and services for cancer researchers. From the home page, select a category that closely resembles your search for information, and then review the many annotated resources. Click on the linked information source title to find more information about available resources including a description, link, and contact information. The site also offers an email update service for information about resources added to the directory.

NewsRx Network

This site offers a database of health, science, and medical news from medical and scientific news sources. Search the database by pre-defined topic or keyword. It returns "summaries of peer-reviewed research, conference reports, news releases, and articles compiled from other health and medical organizations."

Developed by the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine, this Web site offers information about several health conditions often suffered by the elderly.

NLM Gateway

Query several National Library of Medicine databases simultaneously. These include MEDLINE/PubMed, OLDMEDLINE, LOCATORplus, MEDLINEplus, DIRLINE, AIDS Meetings, Health Services Research Meetings, Space Life Sciences Meetings, and HSRProj. The Gateway also lets users browse or search MeSH terms.


The National Library of Medicine provides this new search interface to all resources within its collection. Perform keyword searching for books and other library resources. Medical researchers may search by MESH subject headings. Features include ability to track search query history.

Multiple federal agencies join to offer this portal to their nutrition-related information. The site provides access to federal government information on nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety.

A metasearch service, passes your health-related query to several general medical, medical news and medical image search engines and databases.

Some additional useful features include a medical acronym search, a directory of links to medical associations, a dictionary look-up utility and a directory of links to medical journals.

Patient Safety Network (PSNet)

Designed for health professionals as well as consumers, this Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) portal enables personalization so that "a pharmacist interested in how bar coding can help prevent medication errors will be able to set up the site to automatically collect the latest articles, news, and conferences on this topic."

The site features medical article citations and abstracts from PubMed, abstracted resource materials including videos, books, news articles and other publications, a glossary, newsletter and more.


Developed by the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center, PeriStats provides free access to maternal & infant health data in the United States. Obtain state statistical profiles on infant mortality and premature births or state statistics on birth issues such as multiple births, birth defects, smoking, alcohol and drugs and health insurance coverage. You can also create U.S. or individual state maps or graphs for specific maternal and infant health indicators. The site also offers an e-mail alerting service.


The American Psychological Association offers this pay-per-use bibliographic database of psychology literature.

Public Health Image Library

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a database of images pertaining to public health. Since most of the images fall in the public domain, researchers, scholars, and other professionals may find this a particularly useful resource. Search for images by pre-established category or keyword. A test query for "hepatitis b" (with quotations) produces two images -- one of Dane particles (hepatitis B virions) and one of a pie chart showing causes of chronic liver disease in residents of Jefferson County, Alabama.

PubList DocSource from Infotrieve

Document delivery service Infotrieve offers its database of information about journals covering a variety of topics. Search the database for free to find journal titles, publisher, ISSN, language, contact information, and more. The service also lets users view tables of contents, when available. Table of contents coverage extends back several years for some publications. Users may also opt to receive journal table of contents notices by email.


The National Library of Medicine provides access to MEDLINE -- a database of bibliographic information about articles in the medical sciences published since about 1966 -- and citations to newer publications not yet appearing in MEDLINE.

Rare Disease Database

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) offers a database of reports and articles on rare disorders and diseases. Reports provide a plain English description of condition as well as synonyms and contact information for related organizations. The full-text of the reports appears online, but you can also purchase a print copy. While the database reveals whether NORD has articles on the subject, you have to pay a small fee and request them by mail.

Reports of the Surgeon General

The National Library of Medicine offers this digitized collection containing official reports, conference and workshop reports, and proceedings from the Office of the Surgeon General. Search or browse these materials, which include the first official report on the deleterious health consequences of tobacco use, the 1986 report on second-hand smoke as a quantifiable health risk, and others.

This site serves as a portal to scientific and technical information and databases available from U.S. government agencies. Browse the collection of resources by subject or search multiple databases simultaneously. Topics include agriculture, veterinary medicine, biology, computers, energy, environment, health and medicine, math, and more.


Elsevier offers this search engine devoted to finding scientific information. Scirus collects, indexes, and retrieves information pertaining to agricultural and biological sciences, biosciences, chemistry, Earth and planetary sciences, environmental sciences, life sciences, medicine, pharmacology, social and behavioral sciences, and more.

Because the engine also indexes information from fee-based subscription services, searchers will find peer-reviewed journal articles. Retrieving these articles (called Membership Sources) requires a subscription to Science Direct.

SEER Cancer Statistics Review

The National Cancer Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, makes available this annual report of the most recent cancer incidence, mortality, survival, prevalence in the United States as well as lifetime risk statistics. You may browse or search the report. Earlier versions of the report are available back to 1993. There is also a glossary of statistical terms, links to related material and fact sheets for the types of cancer covered in the report.


SUMSearch queries several medical resources including the Merck Manual and various PubMed resources. If it finds too many hits from a particular source, it adds limiting factors to the query in an attempt to return an optimal number of hits. While advanced searchers likely will not appreciate this lack of control, those unfamiliar with the nuances of searching PubMed/MEDLINE may appreciate this tool's assistance. For best results, take advantage of the search interface's special qualifiers; that is, if you seek articles about the diagnosis of an illness, qualify the query to find only information about diagnoses. While you wait for search results, SUMSearch offers to display the current table of contents of popular medical journals. Negatives: If you do not select qualifiers, the utility interrupts your search request with pop-up boxes reminding you to qualify the query. The search function is painfully slow and searchers cannot limit to animal subjects as they can at PubMed/MEDLINE.

TRIP Database

Designed initially for general practitioners, TRIP catalogs high-quality medical literature. It's a small database (61 sources, 15,000 titles/URLs), but the focus on quality makes it worth investigating. Sources include the British Medical Journal, JAMA, and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Tufts Nutrition Navigator

Nutrition experts review and rate Web sites dealing with nutrition issues. Top-rated sites appear at the beginning of their category. The Navigator also highlights sites of particular use to journalists, health professionals, educators, and those with special dietary needs.

UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research provides its publications based on the research it conducts on health needs and health policy. Reports provide analysis and data and focus on 1) access to health care and insurance coverage, 2) health promotion and disease prevention, 3) management of chronic conditions and 4) public programs and the finance and systems of health care.

Vaccine Adverse Event Report System (VAERS)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sponsor this database of adverse events associated with vaccines. Patients, health care providers, pharmacists and others may report adverse events online. "VAERS collects and analyzes information from reports of adverse events (possible side effects) that occur after the administration of US licensed vaccines."

Vaccine Safety Net

The World Health Organization provides criteria for assisting researchers in identifying Web-based sources that provide valid information on vaccine safety. The criteria cover credibility, content, accessibility and design. The site also provides an annotated list of Web sites that meet its quality criteria.

Who's Certified

The American Board of Medical Specialties offers a free unofficial database for verifying a doctor's certification. This resource appears to replace the former Certified Doctor Verification Service. Search by name or practice type to obtain information about certification. The ABMS also offers an official version of the database with more information about a doctor at BoardCertifiedDocs.