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Background Sources for the Health Sciences: Home

This guide highlights background sources useful for researchers in the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Rangos School of Health Sciences


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BG sources at Gumberg

Professional Background Sources at Gumberg Library

To use these off-campus, you will need to enter you Multipass username and password when you click a link below.


This database offers a new approach to anesthesiology reference, research, and curricular instruction all in one place. Updated regularly, this comprehensive online anesthesiology resource covers the entire spectrum of anesthesiology from the basics to specialty-specific content optimized for viewing on any device.


AccessMedicine from McGraw-Hill Medical is a comprehensive online medical resource that provides a complete spectrum of knowledge from the best minds in medicine, with essential information accessible anywhere. Authoritative, trusted, and continuously updated with optimized content for any mobile device, AccessMedicine is guided by a preeminent Advisory Board that includes the medical field’s top academic experts.

AccessMedicine Case Files Collection

Cases in Case Files Collection provides materials for short, targeted case-based learning. They vary slightly, but for each case you get a patient history and systems review, short answer questions, clinical pearls, and references. Cases are durable URL-enabled and can be embedded into a course LMS page. The results of the quizzes can be emailed and collected for a grade, e.g. student to instructor.

Cases in Case Files Collection are organized into categories and based off different resources, including:

Basic Science Cases
Clinical Rotation Cases
Post-Graduate Cases

NOTE: Accessing the AccessMedicine Case Files Collection requires you to sign in using MyAccess.


Provides access to pharmacy textbooks, videos, games, cases, Q&A, NAPLEX review, and other resources that support pharmacy students as well as practicing pharmacists.


Elsevier’s ClinicalKey gives you access to quick answers at the point of care alongside trusted, comprehensive medical evidence. It includes clinical overviews, full-text books and journals, drug information, procedure videos, clinical calculators, patient education handouts, practice guidelines, clinical trials, and MEDLINE® citations and abstracts.

DSM-5-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, Text Revision)

The DSM-5-TR is the handbook used by health care professionals in the United States and much of the world as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders. The DSM-5-TR contains descriptions, symptoms, and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders.

Lexicomp Online

Contains full text drug information resources and other health care information.

Merck Manual (Professional Version)

First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, The Manual grew in size and scope to become one of the most widely used comprehensive medical resources.

Merck Manual (Consumer Version)

This is a presentation of the information covered in the Merck Manual (Professional Version), but in language accessible the consumer.

Micromedex Health Care Series

A wide range of clinical databases, including unbiased, referenced information about drugs, toxicology, diseases, acute care, and alternative medicine.


A clinical information resource, which offers up-to-date, fully referenced expert answers to patient-care, diagnosis, and treatment questions. Topic reviews are written by recognized authorities who review the topic, synthesize the evidence, summarize key findings, and provide specific recommendations. There is a new log-in procedure for connecting to UpToDate off-campus. Click here to learn about this process.

High Quality BG sources from the Internet

High Quality Consumer Health Background Sources from the Internet

These are geared more to the general public than professionals, as are the resources in the box above. They simplify the content for consumers. The sources and descriptions below are taken from the CAPHIS website.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, aims to prevent and control disease, injury, and disability. Its website ably reflects this mission. One of the best government websites on the Internet, its coverage is broad. The "Diseases and Conditions" section covers major chronic and many infectious diseases, including AIDS, bird flu, common childhood diseases like measles and more exotic diseases like Ebola. Birth defects, traveler's health, emergency preparedness, vaccine and immunization information, accidents and injury information, infectious diseases, and workplace safety and health -- all are covered on this comprehensive site. Rich in information and colorfully illustrated, it also provides information in Spanish. Special features are regularly updated, and health news articles are added daily.

The Cleveland Clinic Health Information Center

Produced by the Cleveland Clinic to benefit patients, the general public, and healthcare professionals, this site offers nearly 5,000 articles, videos, podcasts and tools for managing your  health.  A Health Information Search Specialist can answer questions via a live chat service Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm EST (except holidays). Visit the online learning center to improve your knowledge of specific diseases, conditions, and treatments. A symptom checker and links to free guides and newsletters are included on the site.
The content on is intended for individuals who are seeking reliable health information written at a 6th-8th grade reading level. Children, teens, and seniors can explore sections specifically for them. All information has been written and reviewed by physicians and patient education professionals at the American Academy of Family Physicians.  Conditions and diseases can be searched by name, symptom, or age most commonly affected. The site provides easy access to many helpful health tools, such as a symptom checker, dictionary, BMI calculator, and an immunization schedule. Drug information and health management advice are also included.


Managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides reliable information culled from approximately 1,400 health-related organizations. Features of note include tools for finding health services and support, National Health Observances toolkits, and information about health care reform. Use the “en Español” link to find a mirror site in Spanish.

Mayo Clinic offers a wealth of easy-to-understand health and medical information.  In addition to comprehensive disease and condition guides the site includes descriptions of drugs, supplements, tests, and procedures; healthy living guides; a symptom checker; and expert blogs.

The National Library of Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health, created and maintains MedlinePlus to assist consumers in locating authoritative health information. The first place to go when seeking information MedlinePlus pages offer carefully selected links to web resources with health information on more than 900 topics. The A.D.A.M. medical encyclopedia includes images, videos, and over 4,000 brief articles. Drug and supplement information, a medical dictionary, and patient education interactive tutorials are also provided. The Español button allows searching the site in Spanish, and the Multiple Languages section allows searching in over 40 other languages.


NetWellness, a nonprofit consumer health website, provides more than 55,000 pages of high quality information created and evaluated by medical and health professional faculty at the University of Cincinnati, Case Western Reserve University, and the Ohio State University. Its “Ask An Expert” feature is a question and answer service provided by numerous health care professionals of the three universities. The “Reference Library” section provides links to other carefully selected health sites, and the “Research” section provides access to information about the latest medical research.

CAPHIS Top 100 List: Health Websites You Can Trust

From the Consumer and Patient Health Information Section of the Medical Library Association.

eReference Collections

eReference Databases at Gumberg Library

Some of the content in these databases is geared to the general public, and some is more professional. To use these off-campus, you will need to enter you Multipass username and password when you click a link below.

Gumberg Library subscribes to a number of databases of electronic reference works. These cover all subject areas, and in some cases, contain hundreds of specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries and other sorts of reference works. Most of these databases permit you to search all the reference works contained in them at once. This means you do not have to have in mind a particular book to search. Great for getting started with your research.

ebook databases

Ebook Databases at Gumberg Library

Some of these ebooks are geared to the general public, and some are professional. To use these off-campus, you will need to enter you Multipass username and password when you click a link below.

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