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Looking for basic - or background - information on a topic is best done in textbooks or other resources that compile the known and standard information into a single resource. For example, if you need to know more about what Graves' disease is or what the usuall treatment is, an article search probably will not help as much looking it up in a textbook (either print or our online books) or some of our synthesized resources (First Consult, UptoDate).
Call Number: WB 100 C3888
One of the key textbooks for internal medicine - it describes itself as a remarkably user-friendly version in which you'll find definitive, unbiased, evidence-based guidance on the evaluation and management of every medical condition.
Online Books & Textbook Collections
In most cases, when searching in these resources one word or phrase is better than a long question or multiple concepts.
Search through many textbooks for your information. On this type of search, less words are better. The search results will find your word or phrase in any of the books in the collection. When you have the time, explore some of the additional features offered in this package.
Now available for mobile devices
(requires free account). Supported devices are: iPhone and iPhone 3G, BlackBerry Bold, Google's Android platform.
Over 40 textbooks in a variety of specialties. Simple keyword searches will direct you to appropriate chapters in the books.
Search results will also include results from their "Smart Medicine" tool.
Atlas of Anatomy
A brand new online resource with anatomy images (physiology too) and detailed labels to better understand human anatomy (like the shoulder and brachial plexis). If you have ever used WikingSkull.com, the images in this Atlas are included in the "pro" version there.
These resources are more clinically focused but can be used also like an encyclopedia about some topics.
Genetics Home Reference
A great starting point for information on on genetics and related proteins, especially if the protein or gene is unfamiliar to you.
National Guidlines Clearinghouse
Find national guidelines from different organizations on various topics. If you find more than one possible guideline, use the comparison tool.
Up to Date
A database that is particularly helpful with treatment questions as well as a bit of the basic information question.
Its treatment recommendations are based on the medical evidence and a new trend provides a grading level to help you know the strength of that evidence.
OMIM: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man
OMIM is a comprehensive, authoritative compendium of human genes and genetic phenotypes that is freely available and updated daily.
Lab Tests Info
Looking up information about the results of lab tests are mostly background questions. The following resources are easy to use tools to find very reliable information about the normal values, reference ranges, and more.
Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, 5th edition
Available from Access Medicine. This text includes most of the blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid tests - about 350 different tests.
Details are presented in an outline and table format on physiologic basis, interpretation, and other info, like the cost of tests.
Differential Diagnosis Tools
Symptoms and differential diagnositic information is often buried in a number of our resources. However, a few tools (both online and for your smart phone/PDA) have special tools to help with this process.
Diagnosaurus 2.0 (on AccessMedicine or hand-held version) is based on CURRENT Consult: Medicine, 2007 edition. Find details by symptoms, diseases, or organ system. Good for a quick look-up overview.
First Consult: Differential Diagnosis
Browse or search (best to use just one symptom) and use the check list to rapidly evaluate a patient's complaint. The check list orders the options by age categories, disease prevalence, and diagnoses that must be checked immediately.