Monday, June 04, 2012

PubMed for patients - making sense of the medical literature

PubMed is the world’s largest repository of medical information. Abstracts of all articles ( and the full text of some) published in medical journals indexed in this medical database, which doctors search when they need to update themselves about the latest research.

 Because patients also need to become experts on their illness, the PubMed database can be searched online, free of cost !

This is a great resource if you want to know what’s happening at the cutting edge of medical research. You can learn how to do a PubMed search at

 However, the problem is that all these abstracts are full of medical jargon. These are articles from medical journals, written for specialists, which is why it can be very hard for patients to make sense of these abstracts. This is what a typical search result looks like – it’s full of goobledygook

This is why we have created a free PubMed for Patients medical jargon buster tool. For example, if you do not understand what the word angiogenesis means, just click on it – and we’ll provide you with the medical dictionary meaning of any term !

You can see what this looks like in the screen shot below.

Try this out free at !

Just enter the term you want to search for , in the Search Box at the top of the screen.
When you click on the blue Search button ( top right hand corner), you will get many results from the PubMed database. These will be the titles of the medical journal articles

Click on any result which seems interesting.

You will then get an abstract of the medical journal article. This will be full of medical jargon. If you then double click on any work you do no understand, a popup box will appear which will provide the plain English language meaning of the word.

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