H.M. Fishbon Memorial Library

Health Information Resources for Patients and Families

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General Health

MedlinePlus is a good place to start for many health topics, featuring:

  • Over 900 health topics
  • Drugs and supplements
  • Illustrated medical encyclopedia
  • Interactive tutorials
  • Surgery videos
  • The latest health news
  • Information in many languages

This page links to resources on:

  • Dietary supplements
  • Nutrient content of foods
  • Dietary reference intakes
  • Dietary guidelines
  • Meal planning
  • Food labels
  • Weight management
  • Portion size
  • Nutrition and cancer
  • Nutrition and families
  • Nutrition and aging

NIH is the nation's medical research agency. The NIH Health Information website contains health information in an easy-to-browse format. If you are looking for a topic that is not well covered in MedlinePlus, search for it here.

UpToDate is a well-respected source that provides current medical information to healthcare professionals. You can access the free Beyond the Basics patient content in UpToDate by simply typing a term or phrase in the search box. Or you can ask the librarian to help you access the paid content.

The CDC focuses on health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats. Find:

  • Data and statistics
  • Environmental health
  • Travelers' health
  • Workplace safety
  • Healthy living
  • Injury prevention

NCCIH is the part of the National Institutes of Health that studies complementary and integrative health such as:

  • Natural products
  • Mind-body practices (e.g., meditation)
  • Body-based practices (e.g., massage)

Click on Health Info to see a list of topics or to read the Be an informed consumer section.

Cancer

Cancer.gov provides comprehensive cancer information, with documents written for patients as well as for health professionals. You can also request free copies of NCI publications or connect with an information specialist via telephone or live online chat to answer your specific questions.

Cancer.org is very patient-friendly. Use this site for information on cancer conditions, side effects, research, survivorship, support groups and being a caregiver.

NCCN aims to provide state-of-the-art cancer treatment information in easy-to-understand language.

The NCCN Guidelines for Patients are meant to help patients with cancer talk with their physicians about the best treatment options for their disease.

The NCCN Quick Guide Series summarize key points and recommendations of the complete NCCN Guidelines for Patients.

The Osher Center has created these nutrition guidelines on cancer prevention and survivorship using scientific evidence.

The American Institute for Cancer Research focuses on the link between diet and cancer. They fund research on nutrition, physical activity and cancer prevention, treatment, and survival and they educate the public about the results.

Drugs, Supplements and Food

This page links to resources on:

  • Dietary supplements
  • Nutrient content of foods
  • Dietary reference intakes
  • Dietary guidelines
  • Meal planning
  • Food labels
  • Weight management
  • Portion size
  • Nutrition and cancer
  • Nutrition and families
  • Nutrition and aging

MedlinePlus gives you free access to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, which provides scientific evidence about the effectiveness of dietary supplements and herbal remedies.

FoodSafety.gov

The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of:

  • Drugs
  • Medical devices
  • Food
  • Cosmetics
  • Products that emit radiation

Pill Identifier helps identify prescription and over-the-counter medications by color, shape and imprint.

Clinical Trials and Journal Articles

UCSF Medical Center – Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that may give patients access to experimental treatments. ClinicalTrials.gov offers up-to-date information for locating federally and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions.

Searching the hundreds of research studies on breast cancer treatments can be overwhelming. The trial matching service from BreastCancerTrials.org makes it easier to find clinical trials that may be right for you.

Searching the hundreds of research studies on cancer treatments can be overwhelming. The searching tools from National Cancer Institute make it easier to find clinical trials that may be right for you.

Searching the hundreds of research studies on cancer treatments can be overwhelming. The searching tools from National Cancer Institute make it easier to find clinical trials that may be right for you.

PubMed comprises more than 20 million citations for biomedical literature from the MEDLINE database, life science journals, and online books.

Patient Safety, Hospitals and Physicians

Find a Doctor or Clinic at the UCSF Medical Center

Patient Safety, from the UCSF Medical Center

Tips for buying medicines, summaries of recent safety alerts, warnings about fraudulent products and advice on how to report fraudulent or dangerous products.

Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors
From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

The California Department of Consumer Affairs and California Medical Board provide public information that applies to physicians, such as malpractice judgments, convictions and suspension of licenses.

Hospital Compare compiles data submitted voluntarily by hospitals and from patient surveys. This information helps you compare the quality of care provided in hospitals.

The Leapfrog Group is a non-profit organization that works to encourage transparency and easy access to health care information. Leapfrog uses data submitted voluntarily by hospitals to provide information on health care quality so that you can compare hospitals.

The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization's commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

Other Health websites

KidsHealth provides families with information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years. Separate sections for parents, kids and teens make this a great resource for the whole family.

What to expect when undergoing lab tests, including "normal lab values" for the tests used at UCSF Medical Center. Note: different medical centers may use different tests. Talk with your doctor to make sure you understand your test results.

What to expect when undergoing lab tests, including "normal lab values."

  • This site has information in many languages.
  • Note: different medical centers may use different tests. Talk with your doctor to make sure you understand your test results.

What Did My Doctor Say?: Deciphering Medspeak
From the Medical Library Association

MedlinePlus Guide to Healthy Web Surfing

Covered California is a new, easy-to-use marketplace where you and your family may get financial assistance to make coverage more affordable and where you will be able to compare and choose health coverage that best fits your needs and budget.

Covered California is from the state of California and was created to help you and your family get health coverage to protect yourself and your loved ones. Having insurance is an important way to stay healthy and to pay for health care if you get sick or injured.

A bilingual resource to help find free or low-cost health-related programs


Use of these Resources

Information provided by the Fishbon Library is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Patients should consult their health care providers to determine the appropriateness of the information for their situation.

Links to other websites are provided as a service to our users and do not imply endorsement by UCSF Medical Center. UCSF Medical Center is not responsible for the content of these websites.

These resources are vetted by our Patient and Family Librarian. Although care has been taken in selecting these resources, all material that is provided here or could be reached by using this as a starting point is supplied "AS IS" without warranty of quality or accuracy of any kind. Neither the Regents of the University of California, UCSF Medical Center nor any author contributing to this site is responsible for any errors or omissions in any information provided or the results obtained from the use of such information.

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