Finding Quality Health Information on the Web

I am a doctor (physician and PhD), and I don’t play one any more in real life. The story of my road to semi-retirement is quite boring so don’t expect the saga here. Let’s just say it involves family choices, disillusionment with academic medicine and the American health care non-system.

I have decided to expand postings to include information about health and wellness materials on the net and also discuss health-related matters with the vast 🙂 reader base out there. In 30 years as a primary care doc, I practiced cradle to grave medicine – delivering babies, taking care of families, participating in hospice care – and gradually evolved to preventive medicine/public health. I also conducted real world research in the areas of health behavior, focusing on women. So, why not share what I learned and continue to discover? Just because I have struggled with one of my health behaviors (eating) doesn’t disqualify me from having value to others. In fact, understanding my tussle with obesity and fat discrimination generalizes to the struggle others have with many health habits and gives me quite a bit of empathy most physicians do not share.

I had intended to separate a portion of the blog directing folks to quality web sites regarding health issues and discussing health concerns. WordPress.com, however, is too static. So, I will provide links on the right sidebar and post whenever the mood hits me about current health issues. Any answers I provide to health questions will come with the qualifier that I am not acting as a physician to anyone or providing medical advice. (Yes, I am Board Certified in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health, and my medical license is current.) My recommendations on web sites and questions will be based on scientific evidence, personal reading of web sites and literature, experience as a physician, and the option to say, “I have no idea – nor does anyone else.” I also will not hold back my views on any sites that I find full of quackery or only opinions – hey, my 79-year old mom has opinions.

Medline Plus Health Information from the National Institutes of Health has a broad range of health topics from recognized experts as does healthfinder.gov. Health on the Net Foundation does a remarkable job of specifying “health information ethics” for the web and providing links to thousands of international sites that meet 8 principles. Does that mean all of the information from HON-certified sites should go unquestioned? Of course not! But this is a great asset when browsing – you can even download a toolbar to search for info and check certification.

I am eager for feedback from readers as to what would they would like to read about.

Elizabeth Blackwell First American Woman Physician

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2 thoughts on “Finding Quality Health Information on the Web

    • Ummm, MRI’s not my forte, but I can commiserate with your injury and send you to info on options for treatment!

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