The United States Government-funded National Library of Medicine has for years been a marvelous information resource for physicians and other healthcare professionals, and since the advent of the World Wide Web, for healthcare consumers as well.
Of particular use to attorneys involved with medical issues is The National Library of Medicine's search site known as PubMed, comprising over 28 million citations to the biomedical literature from the MEDLINE database, life science journals, and online books. The primary component of PubMed is MEDLINE, a bibliographic database referencing more than 24 million articles from over 5200 worldwide biomedical journals. Twenty some years ago, MEDLINE's availability was pretty much limited to medical libraries, which were billed for its use. But in 1997 with the launching of the PubMed search site, The National Library of Medicine gave to the world the gift of free MEDLINE. After many stages of improvements, PubMed now offers an easy-to-use search engine that not only produces good results for novice searchers, but at the same time, accommodates the advanced searching techniques of information professionals.
Searching MEDLINE at PubMed is great for locating authoritative medical literature to strengthen and substantiate the testimonies of your medical experts or for finding out what a particular expert has published. For best results, take the time and effort to carefully study PubMed's help pages.
Realize that PubMed does not necessarily produce your entire journal article, but gives you only the citation to that article. The majority of MEDLINE cites, however, include summarizing abstracts, many of which are richly informative. Notable features of PubMed are links to related articles, and increasingly, links to the full-text of the citation. Some of these full-text articles are free, others are available pay-per view or require a subscription to the journal.
Another valuable free resource for attorneys at The National Library of Medicine is the group of databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, and environmental health found at TOXNET. If you are working on a case involving environmental or occupational exposure to a possibly dangerous chemical, the toxic effects of a drug, an adverse reproductive outcome due to an environmental or occupational exposure, suspected carcinogens, mutagens, or teratogens, the various databases at TOXNET could be useful. TOXNET's databases are listed on its homepage. Click on the name of each for detailed information about its coverage. Carefully read the help pages for the best search results.
Also of use to attorneys
at The National Library of Medicine is Bookshelf,
free online access to authoritative medical books and documents.
The lengthy and sometimes complicated help pages at The National Library of Medicine's databases are daunting to say the least. There's lots to know in order to do sophisticated, comprehensive searching of the medical literature. Perhaps one or more of the following apply to yourself - you'd rather just do what you do best, you don't have the time or inclination, your search has got you stumped, or you have that special case that you've simply got to win. MedMatters to the rescue. With over 25 years of medical library research experience, including hundreds, if not thousands, of MEDLINE database searches, I have the expertise to thoroughly research prestigious medical journals, textbooks, standards, and guidelines for the authoritative documentation you need. If there's medical literature out there to support your case, I know how to find it.
Indeed, most novice medical literature searches yield incomplete results and cannot measure up to those performed by trained and experienced medical information professionals. Don't jeopardize the success of your important medical case with inexpert or haphazard medical literature research. Entrust it to MedMatters.
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Expert Medical Literature Research for Attorneys
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