The Johnson City Public Library staff can help you locate and teach you to use library resources to accomplish your research goals. You have the responsibility to perform your own research and speak with a healthcare professional. We cannot give you legal, medical, or business advice.
Start your search by watching this tutorial from the National Library of Medicine. It provides excellent tips for identifying solid and reliable sources of health information.
“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 you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free. You can use MedlinePlus to learn about the latest treatments, look up information on a drug or supplement, find out the meanings of words, or view medical videos or illustrations. You can also get links to the latest medical research on your topic or find out about clinical trials on a disease or condition.” (From their About Us page, 1/31/2015)
This is the official website of the Health Insurance Marketplace, created under the Affordable Care Act. On the Marketplace website, you can review available plans and apply for coverage. Learn more about how to use the Marketplace and find answers to some of your questions about how the Marketplace works on this page.
General Health Sites
“The new health law (aka the Affordable Care Act) is the biggest change in the American health care system in more than a generation. We’ve created the Health Law Helper to give consumers accurate and unbiased information about this complex new law and how it affects them. HealthLawHelper is an informational tool designed for individual consumers. It incorporates the best information Consumer Reports has about the federal healthcare law’s impact on consumers. Consumer Reports and its publishers, licensors and any suppliers cannot be responsible for errors or omissions, or any consequences arising from your use of HealthLawHelper.” (From the Why We’re Doing This page, 1/31/2015)
“This site is operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), a national medical organization representing more than 115,900 family physicians, family practice residents, and medical students. All of the information on this site has been written and reviewed by physicians and patient education professionals at the AAFP.” (From their About This Site page, 1/31/2015)
“Go Ask Alice! is the health question and answer Internet resource produced by Alice! Health Promotion at Columbia University — a division of Columbia Health.” (From the site’s About Us page, 1/31/2015)
Gale’s Health & Wellness Resource Center is part of the Tennessee Electronic Library. Search a medical topic to find fact sheets, magazine and journal articles, drug and herbal remedies, pamphlets, media, and relevant news articles. Browse the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, search for information on drugs and herbal remedies, or search a directory for health care providers in your area. Find additional trusted health sites by topic, or use their health assessment tools.
Healthfinder.gov is a website developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “When making decisions about your health, it’s important to know where to go to get the latest, most reliable information. healthfinder.gov has resources on a wide range of health topics selected from approximately 1,400 government and non-profit organizations to bring you the best, most reliable health information on the Internet.” (From the About Healthfinder.gov page, 1/31/2015)
Healthline offers a variety of health topics and tools, including a symptom checker and a drug search and pill identifier. Find a doctor by specialty in your area. Interactive articles and videos provide objective and trustworthy health information that has been reviewed by health professionals.
The world-renowned healthcare provider offers a Patient Care and Health Information section on their website. Divided into four sections (diseases and conditions, symptoms, tests and procedures, and drugs and supplements), search for information produced by Mayo Clinic staff that is relevant to your questions and concerns. Use their Symptom Checker to help identify health concerns.
“PubMed Health provides information for consumers and clinicians on prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions. PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports. Clinical effectiveness research finds answers to the question “What works?” in medical and health care. PubMed Health is a service provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).” (From the About page, 1/31/2015)
WebMD is a well-known and respected source of health information online. The interactive symptom checker is an easy way to locate targeted information, but you can also browse for information on common conditions or drugs and supplements. Articles are regularly updated and reviewed by health experts. The Living Healthy and Family & Pregnancy sections provide articles on health for all life stages and events. Their Pet Health Center even provides health information for your furry companion.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NCCIH) is a federal government agency under the NIH. Its goal is to research the usefulness and safety of alternative medicine practices and to educate healthcare providers and general consumers about these practices. NCCIH provides a list of links to other federal health organizations that provide information on complementary and alternative medicine. “Decisions about your health care are important—including decisions about whether or not to use complementary health products and practices. Take charge of your health by being an informed consumer. Find out and consider what scientific studies have been done on the safety and effectiveness of the product or practice that interests you. Discuss the information with your health care provider before making a decision. These fact sheets and resources can help you think about the issues to consider and questions to ask.” (From the Be an Informed Consumer page, 1/31/2015)
Medication and Prescription Information
“Drugsdb.com is strictly a pharmaceutical information resource for consumers and we do not promote, link to or advertise the sale of drugs and medications of any kind. We also do not condone the sale of prescription medication over the Internet without a prescription. The website is provided as a public service and is privately owned by a pharmacist. Carol Parker, Pharm.D is the Editor and oversees all content creation on the website. All content pages on Drugsdb.com are reviewed by the Editor. All material is originally prepared by contributors whose names appear hyper-linked in the upper left corner of each article. Each author has a dedicated about page which lists their qualifications, bio and articles attributed to them. The content on Drugsdb.com is reviewed extensively by the Editor for accuracy and completeness. The content is also regularly reviewed to ensure that the information provided is up to date.” (From the About Us page, 1/31/2015) Search DrugsDB for information about prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, supplements and herbs, as well as certain food chemicals (e.g. popular artificial sweeteners).
Merck Manuals are respected pharmaceutical reference sources. The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook is available for free online to search and browse health topics. Learn about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of health issues. Browse by health sections, symptoms, and find multimedia resources and tables. You can also search the Index if you are having difficulty locating your topic of interest. Other helpful resources on the website include first aid guides, pronunciations and definitions of medical terms, information about common medical tests, drug names table matching generic and prescription drug names, and measurement conversion tables. The One-Page Merck Manual of Health provides simplified guidelines for being healthy.
“This site provides objective information for oncologists and healthcare professionals, including a clinical summary for each agent and details about constituents, adverse effects, interactions, and potential benefits or problems. Evaluations of alternative or unproved cancer therapies, as well as products for sexual dysfunction are included. Our Integrative Medicine Service staff, led by a pharmacist and botanicals expert, manages this web site, which is continually updated as new information becomes available. A consumer version of each monograph also is available to help you deal with the often confusing claims made for over-the-counter products and regimens. It is important to ask your doctor or another qualified professional about possible interactions with your specific medications before taking any supplements.” (From the site’s About Us page, 1/31/2015)
Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) is a standard resource in the medical field. Search or browse alphabetically for the name of a certain medication (both prescription and over the counter) and learn about brand names, dosages, warnings, and storage.
“The Pillbox website was developed to aid in the identification of unknown pills (oral solid dosage form medications). It combines images of pills with appearance and other information to enable users to visually search for and identify oral solid dosage form medications. Once a pill has been identified, additional information is provided, including brand/generic name, ingredients, and the National Drug File identification number. Links are provided to NLM drug information resources, such as drug labels from DailyMed and the Drug Information Portal, which searches NIH and FDA drug information resources.” (From the site’s About Us page, 1/31/2015)
Created by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, this website offers resources to help you keep track of your medications. Use the Medication Quick Search to find easy-to-understand information about common medications (search either by brand name or drug name). The Medication Tips and Tools section contains informative articles on various topics including how to administer different medications. My Medicine List is a downloadable document that allows you to create a list of your medications to help you keep track of what you are taking. My Medicine List is also available in Spanish.
Nutrition and Fitness
“Founded in 1985, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to America’s health and wellbeing. Over the past 25 years, we have become an established resource for both fitness professionals and consumers, providing comprehensive, unbiased, scientific research impacting the fitness industry and validating ourselves as the country’s trusted authority on fitness.” (From the About ACE Fit page, 2/1/2015) You can find a great deal of excellent information on the ACE website. Find articles and training programs appropriate to your fitness level under Fitness Programs. Check the Workout and Exercise Libraries for step-by-step directions and advice on how to workout safely and effectively. Under the Healthy Living section, read articles and get advice on nutrition, including healthy recipes. ACE funds research studies on popular exercise practices, and you can find easy-to-read pdfs of the results of these studies under their Expert Insight pages.
“ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information. As Americans are experiencing epidemic rates of overweight and obesity, the online resources and tools can empower people to make healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and their children.” (From the About Us page, 2/1/2015) On this website, supported by the USDA through the CNPP, find a wealth of information on healthy eating and physical activity. Interactive tools such as the Super Tracker allow you to keep track of your daily eating and exercise habits and give you tips and support to improve and maintain healthy diet and exercise. The Healthy Eating Tips section offers healthy recipes and sample menus (check out the FNCS Recipe Box for more healthy recipes from the USDA). This website is easy to use and very family friendly. Check the Related Resources section at the bottom of the site for other USDA consumer information websites. The website is also available in Spanish.
“The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1917, by a visionary group of women dedicated to helping the government conserve food and improve the public’s health and nutrition during World War I. Today, the Academy has over 75,000 members — registered dietitian nutritionists, dietetic technicians, registered, and other dietetics professionals holding undergraduate and advanced degrees in nutrition and dietetics, and students — and is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.” (From the About page, 2/1/2015) The Public section of EatRight provides informational articles and tools for people of all stages of life. One of the great features on this site are the reviews of popular diet books, weighing their pros and cons and providing insight into the health and effectiveness of the diet’s claims.
Visit the FDA’s official website for important consumer health information on food, drugs, medical devices, vaccines, cosmetics, and tobacco products. There is also a section on Animal & Veterinary with information for pet owners and veterinarians on pet foods and drugs for animals. FDA information is also provided en español.
“The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) are agencies of USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. FNS works to end hunger and obesity through the administration of 15 federal nutrition assistance programs including WIC, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and school meals. In partnership with State and Tribal governments, our programs serve one in four Americans during the course of a year. Working with our public, private and non-profit partners, our mission is to increase food security and reduce hunger by providing children and low-income people access to food, a healthful diet and nutrition education in a way that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence. No American should have to go hungry.” (From the About FNS page, 2/1/2015) One of the great resources on the FNS website is What’s Cooking?, a collection of easy, healthy recipes.
Have you ever wondered how long after the sell by date you could still safely eat an egg? Do you need to find out what the minimum cooking temperature is for a turkey? FoodSafety.gov is an easy-to-use resource that provides this information and more. Learn about recent recalls of food products, find out how to keep food safe to consume in the event of an emergency, and read about the causes and health effects of food poisoning. If you cannot find the answer to your food safety question on this website, you can contact an expert. Federal agencies involved in the creation of FoodSafety.gov include the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Nutrition.gov provides easy access to vetted food and nutrition information from across the federal government. It serves as a gateway to reliable information on nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety for consumers. Providing science-based dietary guidance is critical to enhance the public’s ability to make healthy choices in the effort to reduce obesity and other food related diseases. Since dietary needs change throughout the lifespan, specialized nutrition information is provided about infants, children, teens, adult women and men, and seniors. Users can find practical information on healthy eating, dietary supplements, fitness and how to keep food safe. The site is kept fresh with the latest news and features links to interesting sites.” (From the About Us page, 2/1/2015)
“The President’s Council engages, educates, and empowers all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition. The President’s Council is made up of athletes, chefs, physicians, fitness professionals, and educators who are appointed by the President and serve in an advisory capacity through the Secretary of Health and Human Services.” (From the About PCFSN page, 2/1/2015)
“CDC.gov is CDC’s primary online communication channel. Annually, there are close to 500 million page views to the site, averaging 41 million page views per month. CDC.gov provides users with credible, reliable health information on: Data and Statistics; Diseases and Conditions; Emergencies and Disasters; Environmental Health; Healthy Living; Injury, Violence and Safety; Travelers’ Health; Workplace Safety and Health; And more…” (From the About CDC.gov page, 2/1/2015) The site is also available in Spanish.
“The Centers for Law and the Public’s Health: A Collaborative at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities has a multidimensional mission. It includes: Serving as a primary resource on public health law for public health practitioners, lawyers, legislators, policy-makers, advocates, and the public; Improving understanding about how the law affects the prevention of disease and injury through research, education, training, collaboration, and dissemination of information; and Promoting the development and implementation of an effective public health law infrastructure.” (From the site’s Our Mission page, 2/1/2015)
“As the Nation’s Doctor, the Surgeon General provides Americans with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. In 2010, the Affordable Care Act designated the Surgeon General as the Chair of the National Prevention Council, which provides coordination and leadership among 20 executive departments with respect to prevention, wellness, and health promotion activities.” (From the About Us page, 2/1/2015) On this site, read reports and publications by the Surgeon General, and learn more about the current initiatives of the Surgeon General’s office (such as BeTobaccoFree.gov).
“WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends. In the 21st century, health is a shared responsibility, involving equitable access to essential care and collective defence against transnational threats.” (From the About WHO page, 2/1/2015) On the WHO website, find important data and statistics about the state of international health; under the Countries section you can find a breakdown of this data for all countries that are members of the United Nations. Under the Media Center and Publications Center, find important health education content from WHO such as the Disease Outbreak News.
Specific Health Sites
The American Diabetes Association is a non-profit organization that funds research, offers services, and provides information for anyone living with diabetes. Learn about the basic health factors of the different types of diabetes, find out about potential complications and learn about treatment options, and get advice on diet and exercise. My Food Advisor provides all sorts of information specific to healthy eating for diabetics.
The American Heart Association is a voluntary organization that supports heart health research, CPR education training, and heart health education for healthcare practitioners and the general public. Their website provides a great deal of information on ways to improve and maintain your heart health. It also provides pages on specific heart health conditions, resources for caregivers, and information about CPR (such as these multimedia resources on Hands Only CPR).
The National Cancer Institute is a branch of the National Institute of Health. Find information on their website about current research, clinical trials, and cancer statistics. Browse by cancer topic to find reliable information on various kinds of cancer as well as prevention and treatment.
“Genetics Home Reference provides consumer-friendly information about the effects of genetic variations on human health.” (from the website, 2/1/2015) The Help Me Understand Genetics Handbook on this website is a great educational resource for anyone who wants to learn the basics of genetics.
“HIV InSite is developed by the Center for HIV Information (CHI) at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), one of the world’s leading health sciences institutions. Within UCSF, HIV InSite is produced in collaboration with the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and other components of the University’s AIDS Research Institute. Launched in March 1997, HIV InSite’s mission is to be a source for comprehensive, in-depth HIV/AIDS information and knowledge. The site has an extensive collection of original material, including the HIV InSite Knowledge Base, a complete textbook with extensive references and related links organized by topic. Unlike many commercially oriented sites, HIV InSite’s policy is to link to the best of the Web, and thousands of links to external Web sites are incorporated into the site’s original content. It is the policy of HIV InSite to allow free, anonymous access to all of the site’s content.” (From the About page, 2/1/2015)
Created by the Nemours Foundation’s Center for Children’s Health Media, KidsHealth is actually four sites presenting information about children’s health targeted at different audiences: parents, children, teens, and educators. Each site is also translated into Spanish. The sites for children and teens are interactive and fun as well as informative. Each site addresses various aspects of children’s health at every level. Articles are reviewed by healthcare professionals and kept up-to-date.
“Lab Tests Online has been designed to help you, as a patient or family caregiver, to better understand the many clinical lab tests that are part of routine care as well as diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of conditions and diseases. If you are a medical professional, this site can serve as a quick reference tool or as a resource for keeping up with advances in laboratory science.” (From their About This Site page, 2/1/2015)
Your mental health is an important part of your overall health. Mental health problems can have a significant impact on your life without care and treatment. This site, created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, tries to dispel some of the myths about mental health. It also provides vital and clearly written information about mental health issues and how to get help for your mental health concerns. The content of this website is from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FindYouthInfo.gov, MedlinePlus and National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The site is also available en español.
MouthHealthy is a consumer education website from the American Dental Association. Find information by age group (from pregnancy and early childhood to adults over 60) or browse current topics. Use the Symptom Checker to research possible conditions and their treatments. The site is also available in Spanish and there is a site for kids.
The National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR) was created in 1989 as the NIH’s part in the International Human Genome Project. Their website provides useful health and education information on human genetics including information about the Surgeon General’s Family History Initiative.
“The mission of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is to conduct and support medical research and research training and to disseminate science-based information on diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutritional disorders, and obesity; and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases, to improve people’s health and quality of life.” (From the Mission & Vision page, 2/1/2015) The NIDDK’s website provides health information for researchers, health acre providers, and consumers such as health statistics, Healthy Moments radio broadcast, and information about current clinical trials and clinical research. Health information is also available in Spanish.
“NIHSeniorHealth makes aging-related health information easily accessible for family members and friends seeking reliable, easy to understand online health information. This site was developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIHSeniorHealth features authoritative and up-to-date health information from Institutes and Centers at NIH. In addition, the American Geriatrics Society provides expert and independent review of some of the material found on this Web site. Health topics include general background information, open-captioned videos, quizzes and frequently asked questions (FAQs). New topics are added to the site on a regular basis.” (From the site’s About Us page, 2/1/2015)
Search by your doctor’s name, specialty, and location to find out how many times they performed different services in 2012, how much they billed medicare for those services and how much they were reimbursed. *Note: It is difficult to search this database using the city name. Try instead searching by zip code.
Find the CDC’s data on mortality and birth rates across the nation, as well as some general health statistics.
Produced by the Kaiser Foundation, this site allows you to search by state or by topic for important statistical data about U.S. healthcare.
You can use the website without downloading the app, which one first place in the U.S. Surgeon General’s Healthy App Challenge in 2012. Foods are given a grade from A to D using an algorithm favoring “minimally processed, nutrient dense foods.” Search for a brand name food item to find out how it compares with similar products, see its nutrition facts and ingredients, and share your love for your favorite foods. The resource also provides daily tips and nutrition information
The HealthTap app allows you to ask a health question and have it answered by a board-certified physician for free. You can also search for a topic and read what other physicians have written.
This simple app helps you see how your nutrition, exercise, and sleep habits affect your energy level. The app keeps track of your responses and provides healthy and helpful lifestyle tips to improve your energy level.
Return to the Online Information Desk to find more online resources. If you need additional assistance finding information, contact the Johnson City Public Library Information Desk at (423) 434-4454.