Chances are that when your patients have questions about their health they turn to the Internet for answers. But without knowing where to look for credible guidance, their journey down the health information highway can be a bumpy ride. The Web is full of gruesome pictures, exaggerated symptoms, extreme treatments, and alarmist testimonials. Your patients may come in claiming they have diphtheria when it’s just allergy season.

Here are eight credible, user-friendly health sites you can feel good about recommending to your patients:

1. National Institutes of Health

This Web site gives easy-to-read, accurate descriptions of conditions, causes, symptoms, and treatments by linking to trusted Web sites for specific information. For instance, someone looking up bone cancer would be linked to the bone cancer page on the National Cancer Institute Web site. Lots of Spanish-language materials available here as well.

2. American Diabetes Association

Not only gives extensive information about diabetes, its treatments, and ongoing research, but it also offers patients advice on nutrition and meal planning, fitness regimes, and lifestyle changes, and connects them with support groups in their communities. Also check out the ADA-sponsored, interactive nutrition site – My Food Advisor – which allows patients to create meal plans, find recipes, and research foods they can eat.

3. Mayo Clinic

Offers extensive disease/condition information, and goes a step further with its comprehensive and helpful “Treatment Decisions” section, Q&A section called “Ask a Specialist,” and a plethora of interactive quizzes, self-assessments, and calculators under “Health Tools.”

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