ASSOCIATES (vol. 8 no. 1, July 2001) -

The Internet Guru


Brad Eden
Head, Bibliographic and Metadata Services
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Well, here I am in my second summer in Las Vegas. Nothing like 100+ degree temperatures in May and June! Oh, I know, it gets worse, but then I shouldn't complain, compared to what is happening in the Midwest and what happened in Houston (where I used to live).

Now that the Internet is so entwined in many of our everyday lives, many people are consulting it to find out information on health-related issues. This is both good and bad: good, in that access to this type of information is now readily available; bad, in that health-related information requires authentication of sources, reliability of information, and constant updating and revision of research. It is important to remember nine key points when using the Internet to access health information:

1. Find out who is running the website.
2. Start your search in the right place.
3. Find out if the information is sponsored (i.e., do ads constantly pop up while you search the website, meaning be concerned about the editorial material being contaminated by advertising dollars)
4. Check the date (how recently was the website/information updated?)
5. Follow the news.
6. Keep it private (be careful to whom you give your medical information)
7. Look out for quacks and cons.
8. Seek a second opinion.
9. Use what you learn.

Given these points, here is a list of reliable sites for health information on the Internet. Let me make clear that I do not recommend nor can I validate the information contained on these websites; I am only providing what is generally considered currently maintained and reasonably sound websites on the Internet for health information. These URLs were valid and linkable on 6/28/2001; I cannot guarantee they will still work by the time this column is published. Be well, be happy, and enjoy your summer!


The Med Engine!






American Botantical Council

American Medical Association

Alzheimer's Association

American Heart Association

Reuters Health

Network Solutions

Food and Drug Administration


Federal Trade Commission

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