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My doctor has just given me a diagnosis that I have never heard of before. Where can I look for more information about it?

There are a number of good, reliable health information sites you can start with to find more information.

MedlinePlus is a free health information site provided by the National Library of Medicine. It provides extensive information on thousands of diseases and conditions -- you can check the alphabetic list of health topics or simply type in the search box at the top of the web site. The links provided on MedlinePlus are reviewed for reliability and currency by the indexers at the National Library of Medicine, unlink those provided in the results of a Google search. For Google results, you would need to critically evaluate the information yourself. (For more information on how to evaluate health information online take a look at this handout.)

For rare diseases, it is sometimes harder to find reliable information. The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) provides an online database where you can find brief summaries on rare diseases. The UAB Lister Hill Library subscribes to the full monographs on rare diseases. Contact us for more information about the NORD database.

For more assistance on finding health information for yourself or loved ones, contact the Health InfoNet of Alabama free health information service at 1-855-INFONET or chat at

Last modified on July 17, 2015@ 4:12 PM by Cathy J.