Seattle Picks: Finding Health Information You Can Trust

Annotation:This site is a gateway to resources that will help you get started in determining which sites are trustworthy. Each one is selected by the librarians at the National Library of Medicine.

Annotation:One of the best sites we know for the nitty-gritty of assessing the reliability of any site you come across.

Annotation:Created by a national group of patient education librarians, this list provides one-stop shopping. There are sites for groups of people, types of health concerns, drug information and sites that discuss complementary and alternative (natural) medicine.

Annotation:MedlinePlus has health and wellness content covering more than 900 topics (including videos and materials in other languages). Each search result has already been evaluated by the National Library of Medicine, so you can trust it. Don’t forget to visit other “dot gov” sites, such as,,, and many more!

Annotation:Articles from a wide range of topics and publications, from scholarly journals to popular newspapers and magazines, can be found in this database. It's useful for gettting a quick idea of how a certain topic has been covered in print and on the Internet but you can also use it to perform more in-depth research. Requires a valid Seattle Public Library card number and PIN to access outside the library.

Annotation:This database has everything from concise and easy-to-read overviews of general topics to detailed research articles on specific conditions. There are modules for general searching, for health news, for drugs and supplements and for finding a health care provider. Requires a valid Seattle Public Library card number and PIN to access outside the library.

Annotation:If you are thinking about taking herbal and natural supplements, use this database to find detailed articles about hundreds of supplements (including vitamins). The articles contain information about how the supplements interact with other medications, and “grades” for how strong the evidence is for using them for a particular concern. Requires a valid Seattle Public Library card number and PIN to access outside the library.

Annotation:The information in this database is provided by an organization which actually tests the vitamins and supplements sold, by brand, and then gives the results. You can check out products by amount of ingredient, cost, brand, and approval rating. Requires a valid Seattle Public Library card number and PIN to access outside the library.

Annotation:Developed by respected researchers, this site gives you the tools to calculate your risk for a variety of conditions, and offers useful tips for preventing disease.

Annotation:Use this tool to calculate your Body Mass Index, an indicator of health and wellness.

Annotation:Columbia University supports this site, which gives straightforward information on physical, sexual and emotional health aimed at young adults. Pretty much any question you can imagine has been answered there, directly and respectfully. Information is kept updated.

Annotation:With sections for kids, teens, parents, and educators, this popular site offers health information and advice in kid-friendly language, and with interactive components such as animations and games.

Tell Me the Truth, Doctor
Tell Me the Truth, Doctor Easy-to-understand Answers to your Most Confusing and Critical Health Questions By Besser, Richard Book - 2013 613.2 B4642T 2013 Available in some locations Holds: 1 on 5 copies

Annotation:The medical expert from "Good Morning, America" gives his careful analysis of more than 70 health-related questions that can be confusing to the layperson, and his bottom line on the best answer.

Annotation:Andrew Weil is known for the health recommendations he makes which integrate traditional and complementary medicine systems. In books such as “Eight Weeks to Optimum Health,” he gives wellness and lifestyle advice that is grounded in scientific evidence.

Annotation:These titles, from the Mayo Clinic, include guides ranging from back pain to insomnia.

Annotation:These titles, from the Cleveland Clinic, focus on specific conditions such as thyroid disorders and osteoporosis.

Annotation:This series of titles deals mainly with a variety of cancers (brain, lung, etc.) and discusses each in detail.

Annotation:The “Special Health Reports” series from Harvard University Medical School discusses specific topics such as bird flu and heart-healthy eating. These and many other reports from the Harvard Medical School are available online through the Health and Wellness Resource Center database (see above for access details).

Annotation:Merck, a pharmaceutical company, publishes the best-selling textbook “The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy”, along with a highly-respected series of guides on other topics, including veterinary medicine.

Annotation:These titles cover a range of topics, and include one of the top two journals used by American doctors, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Annotation:These titles relate to heart disease and heart health. Most of these items are cookbooks focused on heart-healthy cooking.

Annotation:These titles are about both preventing and living a healthy life with diabetes.

Annotation:These titles include information for cancer survivors and family caregivers.

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Finding trustworthy health information can seem challenging, but there are many reliable resources if you know where and how to look! You can try the suggestions here with confidence. This list includes the following kinds of information, in this order: how to evaluate health websites; lists made by folks in the know; Seattle Public Library research databases; health calculators; resources for kids and teens; information from physicians, hospitals and medical schools, and professional associations and societies. This list was created by a librarian at the Seattle Public Library for health consumers in Seattle and beyond.

Healthcare Guide