Apparently a quarter of the billion or so sites on the Internet are related to health – how does one even begin to find the most useful ones and the best medical information? Healthsites is a medical portal which aims to provide quick and easy access to health and medical resources on the internet and direct you to the most reputable sites. While much of it is UK-based, it provides plenty of links to guide you to wider internet resources, and can serve as a useful first-stop site for further investigations. Its main categories are Health News, Medical Advice, NHS organizations, International Health Organizations, Helplines and Patient Leaflets, Local Services, Complementary Medicine, and Search Engines and Databases, each of these further subdivided by topic.
The first page offers two options for entering the site, a Doctor Zone and a Patient Zone. From the latter you are immediately offered 15 essential links, some UK-based but many of more general usefulness, such as a World Medicine Library, Women’s Health Information, and a comprehensive catalogue of internet health resources. Also offered are patient information leaflets and medical gateways and portals. The category of ‘Search Engines and Databases’ is particularly helpful, allowing you to easily locate any medical information as well as providing comprehensive listings of international health organizations. A separate category of News provides information on general and topical health issues as well as more specifically UK information on consumer protection and regulation of practitioners. The section on Complementary Medicine is less than exhaustive but provides further links to major complementary medicine organizations. There is a link to a site called Medscape, with full listings of illnesses, resource centers, and topical news, and is a particularly good source for medical images. Under the category Medical Dictionaries you will find an encyclopedic medical dictionary (produced entirely by doctors), a medical abbreviations dictionary, and The Acronym Finder (which claims to be the Web’s largest searchable database).
All in all, this no-frills, easy-to-navigate portal is highly useful for looking up any medical condition, but more importantly as a reputable portal for guiding you to hundreds more relevant sites, whether country-specific or of more general focus.