Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Researching the medical literature

If you have a complex or rare problem, you may need to do extensive homework in order to find the best solution to your problem. You may need to research the original medical literature ( medical text books and journals) in order to find out more information. Ideally, your doctor would do this for you, but doctors are busy people, who don't have the time or energy to do so. Why not offer to become an unpaid "research assistant" to your doctor ? You can volunteer your services to hunt down relevant information from the medical literature. While this may seem to be a daunting task, armed with a medical dictionary and with the assistance of a helpful medical librarian, you will be amazed at how much you can dig up. The literature is very structured, so it's easy to find stuff. The trick is in iterative searching - doing it repeatedly, till you hit pay dirt ! You can also search medical journals and textbooks online, via services such as MDConsult, to which your doctor may have subscribed.

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