What’s the best medical website overall?
An A-to-Z guide to symptoms and diseases, everything you need to know about tests and procedures (what they are, how they’re done, their risks and results), regularly updated content about healthy living, and info on prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbs, supplements, and vitamins—this encyclopedic website wins plaudits from doctor after doctor.
I’m interested in preventive health.
Enter your age, height, weight, and family history to get a personalized checklist of tests, screenings, and vaccinations at this site. It’s based on the book Stay Healthy at Every Age by Shantanu Nundy, a doctor at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
I want health information for the whole family.
Learn about diseases, pregnancy, and health at this site, sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The American Academy of Pediatrics runs this comprehensive site for kids’ health. Get info on stages of development, diseases, vaccinations, and finding a pediatrician.
I need a good doctor.
The complete list of Chicago’s top doctors from the January 2012 issue is coming soon.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ portal helps patients find local doctors and dentists and provides nutrition and fitness tips.
Sponsored by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, this site provides information about all the state’s licensed MDs, including updates on any legal or disciplinary actions. A search function allows you to find doctors by medical specialty.
I’ve been diagnosed with a disease. Where can I learn more?
The American College of Physicians gives understandable and reliable information about diseases and conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site includes a glossary of diseases.
Where can I consult online with a doctor for free?
Post questions at more than 100 doctor forums—on everything from Alzheimer’s to urologic cancers—and get a free online answer from an expert in that field. You can also query pharmacists and nurses.
How can I keep friends and family updated on my illness?
Rather than deal with the onslaught of phone calls and e-mails from concerned relatives, create a personalized website to pass along medical updates about you or a loved one.
Where can I connect with other people who share my illness?
This health-centered social networking site, especially good for people with a rare or severe disease, pools patients’ stories to create valuable data about treatments, medications, and long-range prognoses.
Which hospital is best for me?
This site from the Department of Health and Human Services organizes hospital information by Zip Code, surgical procedure, and medical condition to help you make informed choices.
How can I get the best deal on prescriptions?
Created by Leslie Ramirez, a doctor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Chicago contributor Jeff Bailey, this site lets patients type in medication names or classes of drugs and see what pharmacies are charging in the Chicago area.
Where can I learn about medical breakthroughs?
The site provides information about government-funded studies—which can be helpful, if, say, you are a cancer patient looking for alternative treatments.
Sources: Lyle Berkowitz, Northwestern University; Aaron Michelfelder, Loyola University; Bob Noven, Northwestern University; Shantanu Nundy, University of Chicago; Mark Rosenbloom, Chicago Age Management Medicine Institute; Cynthia Waickus, Rush Medical Center
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