Medical Research Resources for Paralegals

Medical information available on the internet has grown and diversified in both the quantity and quality of materials. Every month, more information is added and it becomes challenging to sift through the many options to find the medical research you need for your case. Traditional search engines do not focus on medical sites, and therefore some very valuable sites are overlooked.  

Below is a sampling of sites that will search for and retrieve up-to-date, applicable and current medical literature from peer-reviewed sources.

National Library of Medicine 
A very large database and the efficiency of a search can be aided by a review of the MESH (medical subject heading) “trees” at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ mesh/. There are multiple databases to search, including clinical trial studies, a hazardous chemical database, and the Medline Plus database. 

Medline is the NLM’s premier bibliographic database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the pre-clinical sciences. Medline contains bibliographic citations and author abstracts from more than 4,300 biomedical journals published in the United States and 70 other countries. The file contains over 11 million citations dating back to the mid-1960s. Coverage is worldwide, but most records are from English-language sources or have English abstracts. Medline is free and is accessible from various sites, such as Medscape, Pubmed, and Healthgate.

The Pubmed database was developed in conjunction with publishers of biomedical literature as a search tool for accessing literature citations and linking to full-text journal articles at Web sites of participating publishers. Publishers participating in PubMed electronically supply NLM with their citations prior to or at the time of publication. If the publisher has a Web site that offers full-text of its journals, PubMed provides links to the site, as well as sites to other biological data, sequence centers, etc. User registration and/or a fee may be required to access the full-text of articles in some journals.

PubMed provides access to bibliographic information which includes Medline as well as the out-of-scope citations (e.g., articles on plate tectonics or astrophysics) from certain Medline journals, primarily general science and chemistry journals, for which the life sciences articles are indexed for Medline. The site includes citations that precede the date that a journal was selected for Medline indexing and some additional life science journals that submit full text to PubMedCentral and receive an NLM qualitative review.

Medscape is a multi-specialty Web service for clinician and consumers that combines information from journals, medical news providers, medical education programs, and materials created for Medscape. A combination of peer-reviewed publications, a free version of drug information via the “First Data Bank File” and free Medline are available. Healthfinder, http://www.health finder.gov, is a free gateway to reliable consumer health and human services information developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthfinder can lead you to selected online publications, clearinghouses, databases, Web sites, support and self-help groups, as well as the government agencies and not-for-profit organizations that produce reliable information for the public. 

MD Choice.com was founded by academic physicians whose goal is to make access to the Internet’s vast health and medical information as efficient and reliable as possible for healthcare professionals and consumers. MDchoice.com combined the content of several award-winning medical Web sites including NetMedicine.com, Physician’s Choice, and EMBBS.com (The Emergency Medicine and Primary Care Home Page). A panel of board-certified physicians in the United States evaluates the Web’s medical content.

Guidelines Clearing House is a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. NGC is sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) in partnership with the American Medical Association and the American Association of Health Plans. A medical term search will retrieve objective, detailed information on clinical practice guidelines. Search results will obtain: structured abstracts (summaries) about the guideline and its development, a utility for comparing attributes of two or more guidelines in a side-by-side comparison, syntheses of guidelines covering similar topics, highlighting areas of similarity and difference, links to fulltext guidelines, where available, and/ or ordering information for print copies and, annotated bibliographies on guideline development methodology, implementation, and use.

Additional Medical Research Sites

The links below will most often take you to that particular medical field's national organizations.  There you will find links to multiple resources, the latest articles on treatments, medical studies, and much more.  

Anesthesiology

Cardiology

Chiropractic

Emergency Services 

Endocrinology

Gastroenterology/Liver

General Medicine

Hematology

Infectious Disease

Internal Medicine

Obstetrics/Gynecology

Midwifery

Neurology

Oncology

Optometry

Orthopedics

Pediatrics

Pharmacy

Physical Therapy
Physiology

Plastic Surgery

Podiatry

Preventative Medicine

Psychiatry

Pulmonology

Radiology

Rheumatology

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