Although I am presenting these resources with the topic of uterine fibroid tumors in mind, please know these are helpful when searching online about any medical concern.
Where should I start?
A good place to visit is the How to Access Medical Research page at PatientInform.org. It’s a crash course on finding research information with some very good tips. Included are links to health organizations, government agencies, medical journals, and research databases. I’ll include a few of those here plus some others that are useful.
Free online encyclopedia. Wikipedia is the largest reference website on the Internet. The content is written collaboratively by people from all over the world. I use it to find general information on just about anything.
MedlinePlus Health Information
Contains over 700 topics with information on conditions, diseases, and wellness. Links include drugs/supplements, clinical studies, a medical encyclopedia, and a dictionary.
National Institutes of Health
Great resource for detailed information on specific disorders.
Woman’s Health Research at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Topics include: Research Areas, Clinical Trials, News Releases and Publications, Health Events, and Additional Resources
National Library of Medicine
World’s largest medical library.
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Learn how to evaluate alternative therapies.
Lab Tests Online
Designed to help patients and/or caregivers to better understand the clinical lab tests that are part of routine care as well as diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of conditions and diseases.
What about pictures and videos?
The most comprehensive image search on the web. Just type in a search phrase and get impressive pictures plus links to other online resources related to your topic.
Allows you to view a myriad of moderated surgical videos. Archived broadcasts are categorized by specialty (in case you want to see non-fibroid stuff). Plan ahead and you can even catch a video live.
I want to search for articles. Where’s the best place to do that?
Leave it to Google to improve the concept of searching. It allows you to search across many sources including journals, books, theses, articles, and abstracts. Type in an author, title, or topic. You can also search by publication or category. Results are ranked according to relevance based on the author, the source, and the number of times it is cited in other scholarly literature. I am always impressed by what I find there.
This literature database contains over 16 million records dating back to the 1950s. Search by topic, author, or journal. Until I discovered Google Scholar, this was my main hangout. I still use it quite a bit.
How about free stuff?
Searching is always free but sometimes getting access to the full article isn’t. Here are a few book and journal resources without cost:
Free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. Unrestricted access.
Free Medical Journals
1450 free medical journals sorted alphabetically or by specialty.
Free Books 4 Doctors
650 free medical books sorted by specialty or alphabetically. I actually found my graduate Biochemistry book here completely online…and free.
Many articles are stored as Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files. Adobe Reader is free, universal software that allows you to open, view, search, and print PDF files. When viewed, the articles will appear as they did in the original journal.