Doctors are not the only source of medical information for their patients. Publications on health have long been a staple of bookstore offerings, and the number of Web sites devoted to health topics has also exploded. But are there any that could be said to be the best starting point for doctors to recommend to their patients? Perhaps not, but here are three that at least open the portal to further searches of men's, women's and children's health sites.
For women's health, Healthyme.md provides medical information written by doctors, a pregnancy timeline, a database of medical terms and more, much of it related to the health of all family members. Pages with informative overviews are linked to related articles and videos that are educational without being too clinical. Topics range from general health to more specific categories like breast cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. The site is maintained by a company that helps practicing physicians establish a Web presence.
Not for Men Only (www.malehealthcenter.com)
For men's health, it's difficult to find a site devoted to more than sexual issues and prostate cancer. However, Not for Men Only treats "the whole man, not just parts." To keep that machine in top-notch working condition, the site offers comprehensive listings of diseases and symptoms, a suggested timeline for regular exams, dietary advice and a section on mental health. By no means clinical in nature, Not for Men Only is for the guy on the go who wants his facts kept straightforward and simple.
Virtual Children's Hospital (www.vh.org/VCH)
Focusing on children's health, Virtual Children's Hospital offers a section for parents to peruse as well as one for healthcare providers. "Common problems" provides descriptive overviews from everything from acne to well-child care. "For patients" provides exhaustive educational information on just about every medical topic of interest. Links to other sites expand even further on pediatric topics. The site is a service of the Children's Hospital of Iowa and University of Iowa Health Care.