Medical Information Websites
Hundreds of medical information websites flood the search engine pages. Some provide valuable, trustworthy information through medical information websites. Others, not so much. The old adage, not everything you read on the web is true, applies here, especially as it relates to health information.
For example, if you believe every health website, you will probably end up drinking bleach, or refusing to have your child vaccinated because it allegedly causes autism. Sheesh! Evaluating online medical information presents a formidable challenge, but fortunately, websites like Quackwatch give you the lowdown on nonsensical and dangerous health information unlike many health websites. When in doubt about the validity of the information, look for the HonCode icon at the bottom of the page.
At the other end of the spectrum, you find the most trusted medical information websites, providing the best research from a trusted medical diagnosis website such as Mayo Clinic, Web MD, Dr. Oz, etc., but in the spirit of offering less obvious info, here are some lesser-known but well-respected websites.
The Cleveland Clinic created this informative website to benefit patients, the general public, and healthcare professionals. It features close to 5,000 articles, videos, podcasts and tools for managing your health. On Monday through Friday, from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm EST, Health Information Search Specialist answers questions via a live chat service. Plus, the American medical association is often revered through them, which is a plus.
Men Stay Healthy at Any Age, developed by the Agency on Health Research and Quality, offers a checklist that helps men maintain optimal health. The site encourages visitors to make, and keep appointments for appropriate screening tests, take needed preventive medicine and to practice healthy behaviors, all explained in full detail on the site. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force provide this information.
In 1990, a group of physicians, researchers and health advocates founded the Society for Women’s Health Research. This organization directs attention to the myriad of diseases and conditions that affect women uniquely. Peruse their website, and you will discover information about various health topics, which include sex-based biology, research news related to women, clinical trials and how to join them, milestones in the inclusion of women in research, public education campaigns advocacy efforts and opportunities, grants and awards and society news, videos, and events.
The American Academy of Pediatrics fills this website with information about health topics, diseases and conditions, child development, and child safety. This Android-friendly website includes a symptom-checker, as well as a healthy kids bookstore not available through using medical websites to check symptoms.
All Medline pages are under the auspices of the U.S. National Library of Medicine from the National Institutes of Health. They designed the teen health page for teenagers and their parents, and wrote it using language and phrasing that teens will understand. Articles about school-related stress, sexual health, menstruation, teen pregnancy, drugs and other relevant topics appear on the website.
There’s a good reason why the NIH Senior Health website does not have all the bells and whistles featured on other sites. The National Institute for Health designed the site for older seniors, who might not have the Internet skills of their younger friends and family members. The site features adjustable text, along with comprehensible articles and videos.
The National Institutes of Health created and developed the National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine, in order to study the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of complementary and alternative therapies. The site features evidence-based information about these therapeutic methods, advice about selecting practitioners, and detailed information about herbs and supplements.
Even with the new Affordable Care Act, some medications still take a huge bite out of your budget. Needy Meds serves as a clearinghouse for information about the various assistance programs available from pharmaceutical manufacturers for patients who cannot afford medications. It also has information about government assistance programs and coupons and downloadable drug discount cards. A special section explains how to use crowdfunding for your medical bills, and how to donate to someone else’s crowdfunding program.
Going somewhere? Have you checked the travel health precautions? If not, get thee to the Center for Disease Control Travelers’ Health website. Enter your destination, and you will receive detailed information about the health risks, if any, and necessary precautions, such as vaccinations and medications. The site even has a travel notices page, which provides notices of recent health outbreaks. The CDC keeps its website up to date. For example, at the time of this posting, they have a timely, albeit rather obvious article on Mardi Gras health, which reads
“If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation. Drunk people are more likely to hurt themselves or other people, engage in risky sex, or get arrested.”
Founded at Lenox Hill Hospital in 1973, NISMAT was the world’s first hospital-based sports medicine facility. While once perceived as a discipline concerned only with repairing athletes’ traumatic injuries, sports medicine covers all information about health, fitness and exercise. The site offers user friendly information about most injuries, as well as detailed therapeutic exercise programs.
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