Do you have a health concern, a question about a prescription medicine or need to check on a medical term you are not familiar with?  We all face these problems once in a while and there is a website that will provide reliable answers to all of the above.

MedlinePlus is a free, federally-funded  database  produced by the National Library of Medicine and written for medical professionals as well as consumers.  It is user-friendly and draws on extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other reliable sources for over 900 diseases and conditions.  It includes directories, a medical encyclopedia and dictionary, tests, treatments, health information in Spanish, information on prescription and nonprescription drugs and gives one an opportunity to view medical videos and illustrations.

For more in-depth information, try PubMed, which is a database that contains 19 million references to journal articles covering health and healthcare issues.  The citations are from about 5,600 journals worldwide.

The Mercer County Library System also has a number of databases under its “Health and Medicine” heading, such as Health Reference Center and Health Source.  These databases cover an extensive range of magazines, scholarly journals and educational videos for consumers and health professionals.

According to MedlinePlus, a good consumer should focus on the quality of any website dealing with health: who sponsors the site; look for research, not opinion; check for currency; and be sure to protect your privacy.
              -Wayne N.


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