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Sites Which Are A Good Starting Place For Medical Research


The following websites are known for the quality of their content. They are a good starting point for medical research. (For sources of information about prescription drugs, click here.)


A number of federal agencies offer free, comprehensive treatment guidelines and a wealth of practical information about a variety of conditions. For instance:

  • National Health Information Center (NHIC) in Washington D.C. is a health information referral service that puts consumers and health professionals in touch with those organizations that are best suited to answer their questions. NHIC refers to more than a thousand organizations providing medical information (many of which have online sites). Go to offsite link or call: 800.644.6627.
  • National Guideline Clearinghouse is sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and makes clinical practice guidelines available online for many conditions. The site is geared toward healthcare providers and medical researchers but can be accessed by anyone. The information is written in medical terminology so you may need an interpretation from your doctor, but providing your doctor with the information will insure that she is aware of the latest treatment guidelines. See offsite link
  • Health Finder: This site allows you to search by topic, and provides links to virtually every health related government organization online. See offsite link
  • Medline Plus is a division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Their Internet site provides a wealth of information as well as links to medical publications such as journals and periodicals. See offsite link 
  • To contact the National Library of Medicine call 888.346.3656 or offsite link 
  • Clinical This service is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), through the National Library of Medicine. It has a current listing of more than 4,000 studies, allowing you to access information about virtually all government clinical trials sponsored by the various divisions of the NIH. In addition it provides listings and information on trials sponsored by other federal agencies, the medical industry (including pharmaceutical companies), and university and healthcare organizations. To search for trials by condition, location, treatment or sponsor, see offsite link.
  • Food and Drug Administration call 888.463.6332 or offsite link
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality call 301.594.1364 or offsite link
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) call 800.311.3435 or offsite link
  • National Institutes of Health see offsite link for a list of all NIH related agencies.
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (including HIV/AIDS information) call 800.448.0440 or see offsite link
  • National Cancer Institute call 800.422.6237 or offsite link
  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine call 888.644.6226 or offsite link
  • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute call 800.575.9355 or offsite link
  • National Eye Institute call 301.496.5248 or see offsite link
  • National Institute of Arthritis and Muscoloskeletal and Skin Disease call 877.226.4267 or offsite link
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease for diabetes call 800.438.5383, digestive disorders call 800.891.5389, kidney disease call 800.891.5390 or offsite link
  • National Institute of Mental Healthcall 301.443.4513 or see offsite link


For example:



  • KidsHealth:  Information about children's health, reviewed by a panel of leading pediatricians. offsite link
  • The Merck Manuel:  The online version of the trusted medical guide. offsite link
  • American Medical Association: The professional organization for licensed doctors. In addition to medical information, the site provides a physician locator service for virtually every doctor licensed in the U.S. offsite link
  • Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA):  The peer-reviewed medical journal affiliated with the American Medical Association.
  • WebMD: A commercial website that provides a vast amount of medical information, including a section for people who are newly diagnosed with an offsite link
  • CBSHealthWatch: This commercial site provides information about a wide variety of consumer medical and health topics. offsite link
  • InteliHealth: This commercial site owned by Aetna provides consumer information from Harvard Medical School, and contains the Meriam Webster Medical offsite link 
  • Med  An online medical dictionary provided by offsite link

NOTE:  For information about how to do medical research, on the internet, click here. Unless you are sure of the accuracy and objectivity of a particular site, verify what you learn.

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