4 Tricks for Researching a Medical Condition on the Internet

4 Tricks for Researching a Medical Condition on the Internet

If you want to learn more about a medical condition, it is natural to turn to the internet. Unfortunately, everything you read on the internet is not valid, so you need to be careful while doing your research. The following four tips can help you get the knowledge about medical conditions that you are searching for.

1- Consider Sites From Reputable Organizations

You can often find the best information from reputable organizations dedicated to specific diseases, like American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Alzheimer’s Association, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association. Government sources can also be excellent information sources, so consider the following:

• National Institutes of Health

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

• World Health Organization

• National Health Service

• National Health and Medical Research Council

• Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

• Food and Drug Administration

• Public Health Agency of Canada

• European Medicines Agency

2- Use Google Scholar

Instead of relying on Google’s regular search engine, try searching on Google Scholar. This will help you find educational articles better. When looking at options, consider those from professional journals because these articles are usually peer-reviewed. Great options often include the following:

• Annals of Internal Medicine

• New England Journal of Medicine

• American Journal of Psychiatry

• The Journal of Neuroscience

• Journal of the American Medical Association

• British Medical Journal

• The Lancet

• PLOS Medicine

• The Journal of Clinical Investigation

• Journal of International Medical Research

• The Journal of Infectious Diseases

• Journal of the American Heart Association

3- Trace Information to its Original Source

Think about the last time you told a story and heard it retold later. Chances are very strong that some of the details have changed, and it is no different with medical information. Therefore, try tracing information back to its primary source. Examples of primary sources include the following:

• Journal articles written by the person doing original research

• Papers presented at conferences by teams doing medical studies

• Theses written by students that have traceable references

• Patents

4- Consider the Source

When doing your research, think about the source of the information you are reading. If the information gives only the lead person’s name, then Google it to see where he is employed. Next, consider the date of the information. Generally, you want information from the last couple of years. When evaluating clinical trials, look at the sample size. Usually, the bigger the sample size, the more you can trust the data. Finally, think about any conflicts in funding that might be present or if the article’s author has a particular viewpoint they are trying to push forward. Pay special attention to information coming from leading research medical schools including the following:

• Harvard University

• University of Cambridge

• John Hopkins University

• Stanford University

• University of California

• Yale University

• Imperial College London

• University of Oxford

• Massachusetts Institute of Technology
You can find medical information to support any point of view on the internet, but following these four research tips can help you find reliable information that you can count on. Good luck with your research. Keep in mind that the best information about your own medical condition usually is from your care provider because there are many factors to consider.