Skip to Main Content

Legacy Leadership Institute for Older Adults: Medical

A guide to library resources for participants in the Legacy Leadership Institute for Older Adults at the University of South Alabama. This guide was created by Paula Webb and updated by Rachel Fenske.


MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You: A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, NIH National Institutes of Health


Begin your health information search by using the most reliable consumer friendly health database produced by the National Library of Medicine.  Coverage expands over 1,000 health topics and includes information on both prescription drugs and herbal supplements. Database is available in Spanish and has many health resources in other languages. 

General Health Information

Family Doctor

Produced by the American Academy of Family Physicians, this site provides information on diseases and conditions,  prevention and wellness issues as well as health tools, dictionaries and news items.


Women's Health

The Office of Women's Health (OWH) part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), work to improve the health an sense of well-being of all U.S. women and girls.

Kid's Health

Produced by Nemours Center for Children's Health Media Foundation, Kids Health is an excellent resource to locate information on health, behavior, emotional and physical conditions that affect children and teens.  The information is written in easy to understood language and is reviewed regularly by a team of physicals and medical experts to ensure accuracy and currency.  

Merck Manual Consumer Edition

The Merck Manual provides consumers practical medical information for all types of diseases, conditions and ailments.  Information on symptoms, emergencies and current news and research are also provided. 

Lab Tests Online

Great resource to learn about various diagnostic tests searchable by name or condition.  Provides easy to understand procedures, prep and interpretation of results.

Medical Tests (MedlinePlus)

This category of MedlinePlus allows you to locate a medical test with information on how to prepare for the test, what the test is ordered for and what the results may mean.  It is a wonderful resource that provides information on the test as well as links to related information and concepts.


A resource from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, this website provides a wealth of information on various diseases and conditions, ways to stay healthy, exercise and diet, screening tests based on your age, mental health issues, and tips on what to ask your doctor when you go for a visit.  Also in Spanish.

Medical Health Resources

Growing Older: Healthier and Happier

Medical Health Resources

Genetics Databases


Genetic Resources within MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus has a distinct category on genetics that provides excellent information on multiple rare and genetic diseases in easy to understand language.  Select the tab "Genetics" to find specific genetic conditions.  There are sections that provide a primer on the basics of genetics and genetics concepts, along with information on specific genes, and chromosomes and mtDNA. 

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

GARD produced by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the  most complete database of rare diseases in the U.S.  Information in this resource provides consumers current, reliable and easy to understand information on rare diseases.  Provides resources for financial support and news on latest developments.



A portal for rare diseases and orphan drugs, this resource is of utmost quality aiming to gather information on genetic diseases to improve knowledge and care for those who are affected by such diseases. Established in France in 1997 by INSERM (French National Institute for Health and Medical Research), it expanded into a European project in 2000 and now has a network of over 40 countries world wide. Orphanet also maintains the Orphanet rare disease nomenclature (ORPHAnumber), essential in improving the visibility of rare diseases in health and research information systems.

Genetic Resources and Patient Advocacy

National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD) 

The National Organization for Rare Diseases provides a multitude of resources for those living with a rare disease.  In addition to providing an introduction to over 1, 200 rare diseases, the resource also provides information on patient recruitment, patient assistance programs, patient advocacy groups, financial assistance programs, networks that connect families with rare diseases.  It also provides information on regional meetings and events.  NORD is also the sponsor for National Rare Disease Day which is on the last day in February. 

Genetics Counseling

National Society of Genetic Counselors

This site explains the role of a genetic counselor and provides straightforward information on how they can be integrated into your healthcare team as well as what they can do to help with your family's genetic health.  Also provides a means of locating genetic counselors in your area.