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Googling for a Diagnosis? Medical Web Resources and Warnings

Overview
Top Notch Medical Websites
Beware of Internet Health Fraud
Faking Illness on Internet
Prescription Fraud

Overview

Measuring Actual eHealth Literacy Among Patients With Rheumatic Diseases. Many patients have insufficient skills to properly use Health 1.0 and Health 2.0. Formulating proper search strategies and evaluating the found information caused problems among the majority of patients. J Med Internet Res.

Why Medical Advice Seems to Change So Frequently. Take your medical news and recommendations with a dose of healthy skepticism, especially regarding nutrition. New York Times, 01/16/2017.

Top Notch Medical Websites

We recommend these sites for top quality medical information.

All-Acronyms.com. Includes medical acronyms to help make sense of medical records and prescriptions.

Drugs.com For medication and side effect information. A commercial site but with extensive database. Drugs.com.

Medscape.

Health InterNetwork (HIN) by World Health Organization (WHO).

Mayo Clinic

MedicineNet by WebMD.

Medline Plus by National Library of Medicine (NLM) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Merck Medical news, research and general information.

NHS Choices. UK

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Patient UK. Provide non-medical people in the UK with good quality information about health and disease.

PubMed, by National Library of Medicine (NLM) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

WebMD by WebMD.

Beware of Internet Health Fraud

The Internet is chock-full of misleading, misguided and mistaken information on the one hand, and trustworthy, cutting-edge science on the other. How can we decide who and what to believe? These sites offer some practical guidance.

Bogus health scares on Internet become increasingly common. "Have you heard about the cancer-causing shampoo? Or the epidemic of multiple sclerosis and lupus caused by artificial sweetener? Or the kidney thieves who remove organs from people who get drunk at parties?" CNN.

How to Spot a "Quacky" Web Site The best way to avoid being quacked is to reject quackery's promoters. Each item listed below signifies that a web site is not a trustworthy information source. QuackWatch.

Twenty-Five Ways to Spot Quacks and Vitamin Pushers How can food quacks and other vitamin pushers be recognized? Here are 25 signs that should arouse suspicion. QuackWatch.

Faking Illness and Munchausen's by Internet

Sympathy-Seekers Invade Internet Support Groups Marc D. Feldman, MD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Center for Psychiatric Medicine, calls it "Munchausen by Internet". In these disorders, people cook up or induce fictitious illnesses in themselves or others in an effort to gain sympathy. WebMed (Also see Internet Fraud)

Factitious Disorder Imposed on Self. Factitious disorder imposed on self refers to the psychiatric condition in which patients deliberately produce or falsify symptoms and/or signs of illness for the principal purpose of assuming the sick role. Medscape.

Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another. Factitious disorder imposed on another (formerly factitious disorder by proxy) has as its cardinal characteristic the production or feigning of physical or psychological symptoms in another person, usually a child or adult under the care of the person with the disorder. It is currently understood as including the condition commonly known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP). Medscape.

Prescription Fraud

A Pharmacist's Guide to Prescription Fraud. The following criteria may indicate that the purported prescription was not issued for a legitimate medical purpose. DEA, Office of Diversion Control.

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