Special Information

Physicians’ use of the Internet to gather medical information has increased in recent years. Several studies have been conducted to explore the implications of this use on patient education, the physician-patient relationship, and diagnosis/decision making. In order to better understand the current and future implications of Internet use on patient care activities, it is important to know the Internet sources physicians prefer to consult. The objective of this study was to determine the Internet sources of information physicians most often use to gather medical information. This study demonstrated that the vast majority of physicians indicate they access a targeted site rather than utilize a search engine (such as Google©) to gather medical information. Of the targeted site types, most physicians indicate they use 1) edited/secondary data sources as their primary medical information data retrieving, 2) about one quarter of the physicians surveyed indicated research databases which provide access to medical journal publications 3) a minority of physicians use sites dedicated to their specialized area and 4) a small percentage use medical web site portals.

The Internet may be an essential way for physicians to improve their medical knowledge and to acquire updated information about health care and their profession. Unlike many information seekers, physicians in search of medical data seem overwhelmingly to favor targeted sites rather than web browsing for medical information. It is of note that most targeted sites contain edited and/or secondary data. Since the knowledge gained on line is transformed in practice, one may question whether a comprehensive view is obtained when consulting an edited source and/or only one preferred source.

Free High Quality Internet Resources
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) (http://www.aap.org) – variety of resources geared towards pediatricians, including job/career resources, educational and reference resources, some require AAP membership.

American College of Physician (ACP) (http://www.acponline.org) – a variety of resources geared towards general internists, including job/career resources, educational and reference resources, some require ACP membership.

American Family Physician (http://www.aafp.org/afp.xml) – journal of the American Academy of Family Practice that focuses on succinct, evidence-based, authoritative clinical reviews for primary care physicians.

American Medical Association (AMA) (http://www.ama-assn.org) – variety of resources geared towards all physicians, some require AMA membership.

BrightFutures (http://www.brightfutures.org) – standard guidelines for health supervision, anticipatory guidance, and preventative services for infants, children, and adolescents.

Clinical Trials (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov) - contains lists of over 10,000 federal and privately supported clinical trials.

eMedicine (http://www.emedicine.com) – free on-line resource for medical professionals about medical information.

Medline Plus (http://www.medlineplus.gov) - contains patient oriented health information on over 650 health topics in English and Spanish.

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entresz) - centralized repository for governmental biomedical databases. Allows cross-database searching.

National Guidelines Clearinghouse (http://www.guildelines.gov) - contains review type articles on common medical topics and all governmental health guidelines. Contains original articles.

On-line Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/omim) - database of genetic information including disease information, genes, and phenotypes.
Residents as Teachers Handbook (http://www.aap.org/residents/resasteachers.pdf) – excellent PDF document for residents on teaching overview and reference on how to teach.

PubMed (http://www.pubmed.gov) - database of over 14 million citations and abstracts from over 4600 biomedical journals going back to the 1950.

PubMed Central (http://www.pubmedcentral.gov) - contains full text access to almost 100 life science journals.

United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Guide to Clinical Preventative Services (http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/cps3dix.htm) – contains all USPSTF information on preventative care guidelines.

Medical Reference Resources (PDA)
ABGPro (http://www.stacworks.com) - arterial blood gas interpretation program.
ePocrates (http://www.epocrates.com) - drug reference program containing over 3,000 drugs listed by generic name, trade name, and category. Contains interaction, contraindication, adverse reaction, pricing and other information.
Cholesterol (http://www.statcoder.com) - ATP III cholesterol guidelines
Clearance (http://www.statcoder.com) - surgical cardiac clearance guidelines

Medical Informatics Resources Winter 2008 Medical Informatics Resources Winter 2008