Patient Resources Online

Remember when doctors disparaged medical information patients found on the internet? Times have changed. Now you can get reliable medical information on almost any topic as long as you know where to look.

In fact, a recent survey showed that 86% of U.S. physicians use the Internet to gather health, medical or prescription drug information. And 65% of primary care doctors search the Web more than once a day. Here is our selection of the best resources online for patients.

Medical and Drug Information

MedlinePlus is a a goldmine of reliable health information. MedlinePlus site is operated and updated by the National Library of Medicine, which is the world’s largest medical library and a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It is hard get more reliable than that!

  • In addition to being authoritative, MedlinePlus has Easy-to-Read health materials written by experts in health literacy. Also try out the animated videos which show the anatomy of body parts and organ systems and explain how diseases and conditions affect them with easy-to-understand language.
  • A good place to start your research on a medical condition is the Health Topics page. Find your topic and you’ll see links to all levels of articles from the most basic explanations to articles in medical journals.
86% of U.S. physicians use the Internet to get medical or prescription drug information

MedlinePlus is part of National Institutes of Health (NIH), the primary agency of the United States government responsible for health-related research and funding.

WebMD is the most popular site for general quality medical information. This award winning website is privately owned and operated. It is accredited by URAC, an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes health care quality through its accreditation, education and measurement programs. 

The Mayo Clinic is perhaps America’s best known hospital.  More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers from Mayo Clinic contribute to the extensive collection of articles on their website.

RxList.com is one of several good websites where you can look up information on prescription drugs. 

  • The RxList Drug Interactions Checker is an exceptionally easy and fast way to look for possibly dangerous interactions from among your own medications.
  • The Pill Identification Tool and the information on Vitamins, Herbs, and Dietary Supplements are also quite valuable.

Health A-Z, from the UK’s National Health Service, offers easy to read explanations of a very large number of medical conditions and treatments. If you can’t find what you’re looking for elsewhere, try this site.

Patient Safety

ConsumerMedSafety.org is rich in resources to  help consumers avoid mistakes when taking medicines. Operated by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), it does not accept advertising in order to avoid conflicts of interest associated with ties to drug manufacturers.