Family physician, author, blogger, speaker, physician leader.

Reference Websites

These are excellent websites.  The valuable information they provide are not substitutions for professional evaluation or advice.

Health Insurance Plans & Hospitals

The Quality of Your Health Insurance Plan Quality Matters!  –  Find out if your health plan is accredited by the National Committee For Quality Assurance –  By US News and World Report  –  By Consumer Reports – Check out your hospital’s performance on several important areas

You’re on Your Own and Without Insurance –  Learn more about COBRA, which allows participation in group coverage up to 36 months – Search for health insurance

Your Internet Doctor

When Should You See Your Doctor? – Look for “Search by Symptom” and see if home treatment or a seeing a doctor is recommended. –  Research various symptoms and ailments in the Merck Manual Home Edition Reference Book

Research  –  information on various health topics, drugs, herbals, as well an informational video and encyclopedia. – from the National Cancer Institute. – Information for patients living with cancer from the American Society of Clinical Oncologists – People Living with Cancer.

What Screening Tests Should Be Done?

US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)  –  Use the electronic preventive services selector to find what screening tests you must have done at the minimum.  The other following organizations may recommend additional tests.

Cancer Screening –  American Cancer Society (ACS)

Breast Cancer Screening –  Learn how to do a breast self exam –  Determine your risk for breast cancer.  Be sure to share the results with your doctor, regardless of the number.

Testicular Cancer –  Learn how to do a testicular self exam (search for testicular self-exam)

Heart Disease  –  American Heart Association (AHA)

High Cholesterol –  Determine your risk of having a heart attack over the next 10 years.  Be sure to share the results with your doctor, regardless of the number. (Test does not apply for those with diabetes or heart disease).

Diabetes –  American Diabetes Association (ADA)

What Vaccinations Do I Need?

Immunizations and Vaccinations –  Find out which vaccines you need

Maintain a Healthy Weight – Determine your body mass index and figure out if you are at healthy weight.  Search for “BMI” –  An entertaining quiz on how food portions have increased over the past twenty years. Informative and shocking.  – The Obesity Educational Initiative from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.  Some ideas on how to get healthy.

What Else Can I Do To Stay Well?

Protect Yourself – Purchase a Safe Car – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Your Medical Team – Find out if your doctor is board-certified.  –  Verify your doctor’s medical license and learn other publicly disclosed information.

The Truth About Medications

Generic and Branded Medications: What’s the Difference? – Excellent resource by Consumer Reports on which medications provide the most value and are effective. –  Information about generic drugs by the FDA.

Making Sense of Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications –  Information about over-the-counter medications by the FDA. –  Information on various health topics, drugs, herbals, as well an informational video and encyclopedia.

Paying for Prescription Medications if You Don’t Have Coverage – A group of pharmaceutical companies offering discounted prescription medications

Caveat Emptor, Or “Let the Buyer Beware”

Herbal and Dietary Supplements – Searchable database on the effectiveness and safety of herbals and dietary supplements. – From Consumer Reports