Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

A New Streamlined Way to Search US Government Documents

The US Government is one of the largest publishers in the world. Many US government documents are available to the public, with an increasing number online . These documents include health related publications from agencies as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA).

Many government documents are available through agency Web sites.
However, at times MetaLib (the US Government Printing Office [GPO]) may be the better option.
MetaLib is a federated search engine which searches over 53 federal agencies.  It searches for reports, articles, and citations (information about article as volume and page numbers).

MetaLib searching includes the following options

Basic Search – type in a word or phrase and click on Go

Advanced Search – This focused search option includes options as

  • Field searching (search by title, subject, author, year)
    For example, influenza (with drop down item subject)
  • Search using two phrases – use both lines and the drop-down menu to the right of the first line
    For example, influenza AND immunization
    OR                    influenza (subject) AND immunization (subject)
  • Quick Sets – Limit search by topic, as Health + Safety

Expert – Further options for more controlled searching, including agency searching and saving items for future use

My E-Shelf – lets you personalize your environment. Create your own resource lists, save records that you find interesting for future reference, or define your preferences for the display of results. My E-shelf is session based and will not be retained once you time out, end, close out of MetaLib or close your browser window.

For additional information, please visit the MetaLib help page.

Editor Flahiff’s note – Please keep in mind that MetaLib does not search for synonyms (as influenza when typing in flu).
Consider typing in synonyms connected by OR, as influenza OR flu in a phrase box.

Also keep in mind the limitations of subject searching. One federal agency may use a different subject term than another for the same idea or concept.

Be as specific as possible. For example swine flu OR h1n1 instead of flu.

Don’t forget to consult with a reference librarian at your local public, academic, or medical library for additional search tips!

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | , , | Leave a comment

Online Continuing Medical Education ( for Physicians

Are you a physician looking for listings of reviewed CMEs?
A great first place to look is, by Bernard Skalr, MD.
The home page has listings by specialty, cross-specialty, and comprehensive board review.

From the CME list about page

It is the intent of to describe every web site that offers AMA-approved CME online. At this time, we have over 300 sites listed. These sites offer over 16,000 separate activities and over 22,000 hours of credit. If you find errors in the descriptions please let me know. If you know of CME web sites that I have missed, please tell me about them.

Some general statements and explanations about how the sites are chosen and described:

  • I have included every American online CME site I could find that offers CME accredited under the supervision of  the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The only sites deliberately excluded are those where I was unable to view any instruction (or a demo) without advance payment and those sites which require an offline subscription of a journal and offer only the quiz online.
  • In most cases, the entire process (viewing the CME, taking the tests, submitting payment when required and receiving an electronic certificate of CME credit) can be done online. Where forms must be mailed or faxed or payment submitted by mail, I have so indicated.
  • Passwords and registration: this is required at just about every site; I do not describe the registration process unless it is especially onerous or confusing. The site managers want to know who is visiting, and your registration is how they find out. Usually you can register without making any financial commitment.
  • I include courses only when CME credit is still available.
  • Fees: In general, you can view instruction without cost; the cost figures I give are how much it costs to have your credits certified. Where you need to pay for viewing, I have stated that.
  • The “new1123b.gif” icon means that I had not seen the site before now, or that there have been major changes or reorganization since my last visit to the site.
  • Occasionally the same instruction may be found at several different sites. I have tried to show it only once, at the creator’s site. When this is not possible, I have indicated that the same instruction is found at different sites.
  • Online CME sites change often; new sites appear; existing sites disappear. Please email me with comments or suggestions. If you know of any online CME site which is not included, please let me know. And please let me know about any broken links.
  • Be sure to add this site to your bookmarks or favorites folder.
  • To view the most up-to-date version, refresh (reload) this page in your browser.



October 19, 2010 Posted by | Professional Health Care Resources | , | Leave a comment

Free Access to Occupational Therapy Database until Oct 23rd

Access to the Occupational Therapy Database(OTD) is free from October 17th to the 23rd.
According to the About page , it is a “a Canadian-based and Canadian-developed occupational therapy journal literature search service”.

The publishers state it “contains over 9000 abstracts from more than 20 global OT journals since 1970”.
A list of the indexed journals may be found here.

Many academic and medical libraries have a paid subscription to OTD. Call ahead and ask for a reference librarian to answer questions about using it (for free)  at their library (as the availability of a printer for the public). You may also consider inquiring about other fee-based medical and scientific research databases that might be available (for free) to the public who come to their library.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources | , | Leave a comment


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