Sonoma County Library


Health & Medical Resources

Alternative Medicine   •   Cancer Resources   •   Drug Information    •   Flu  •     Good Starting Points   •   Physician Directories   •   Reference Books & Articles   •   Information in other languages   •   Información en español

Get Covered - Health Care Reform and You

Covered California logo Open enrollment is available under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Health Care Reform or Obamacare. Coverage begins in January.

California residents


  • National marketplace – starting point for non-residents of California
  • Phone 1-800-318-2596 for help and to enroll by phone


Being careful with medical web sites - what you need to know

When your health and your family's health is at stake, it's especially important to be careful choosing a Web site. Medical information must be accurate and up-to-date to be useful.

Before using the information that you find, ask yourself a few questions about its origin:

  • What's the purpose of this site?
  • Who is the audience?
  • Are they trying to sell you something?
  • Who wrote, developed, and/or paid for the site? What qualifications/credentials do these people have? Sites produced by medical schools, universities, and government agencies are good places to start.
  • Does the site reflect a particular opinion?
    If so, do you want to explore other points-of-view to get a balanced picture?
  • Is it up to date?
    Look for the date of the last revision. Medical information changes rapidly. Old information is less useful and may even be dangerous.
  • Is it accurate?
    Look at the sources used.
  • Does it help answer your questions?
    Feel free to check with a librarian for more information about your subject. Librarians can help your find resources for your research. But remember, our librarians aren't health professionals and they cannot evaluate your health needs. Ask your nurse, doctor, or pharmacist for details about your individual medical and health situation and treatment.

Tips adapted from the librarians at the Science, Business and Social Science desk at the Oakland Main Library.

Good Starting Points

Family Doctor
Health information for every age group. Advice on staying healthy; health calculators and tools; find information on diseases and conditions by the name of the condition or by symptoms. From the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Medline Plus
For consumers and patients, from the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.

Top Ten Websites
Medical Library Association's list of top 10 health sites.

Consumer and Patient Health Information (CAPHIS)
Want even more links? Medical Library Association's list of top 100 health sites.

Hardin MD
Directory of medical sites by subject.

is a gateway consumer health and human services information web site from the United States government.

Excellent site for disease-specific information, complete drug info and discussion groups, with an online medical dictionary and drug reference, first aid & poison control advice.

Yahoo Health
Yahoo's list of health related links.


Reference Books & Articles


Merck Manual - Home Edition
Standard diagnostic text rewritten for those without a medical degree. The online version is searchable. Includes sections on children's, men's, and women's health, accidents and injuries, infections, drugs, alternative and complementary medicine, etc.

National Library of Medicine's search service to access the 9 million citations in MEDLINE and Pre-MEDLINE (with links to participating on-line journals), and other related databases.

Medical Matrix
One of the best directories of professional medical resources. Includes ratings of resources, with links to journal articles, web sites, reference books, email lists and online "textbooks."

BMJ - British Medical Journal
Dedicated to developing scholarly publishing online, the full text of articles published and the review process itself occurs online.

Martindale's Health Science Guide
Contains links to thousands of: Medical Cases & Grand Rounds, Teaching Files & Teaching Modules, Courses/Textbooks, Journals, Databases, Atlases, Videos/Movies.

Merck Manuals
Merck is a major pharmaceutical manufacturer and health publisher. Their Merck Manual for Diagnosis and Therapy is a standard respected one-volume desktop reference for physicians, and they offer an online, searchable version of it. Other online manuals include the Merck Manual Home Edition and the Merck Veterinary Manual.

Excellent site for disease-specific information, complete drug info and discussion groups, with an online medical dictionary and drug reference, first aid & poison control advice.


Physician Directories

AMA Doctor Finder
From the American Medical Association. A database of physicians, the online equivalent of the American Medical Association's Directory of Physicians.

MedlinePlus physician directories
Includes a directory of Medicare physicians.


Alternative Medicine

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: MedlinePlus
Overview, news, research, information on treatments for specific conditions. From the National Library of Medicine.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Studies on supplements from the National Institute of Health. Information on side-effects and potentially toxic effects of supplements also.

Alternative and Complementary Health Sites
From the Health Sciences Library at Columbia University. A good set of links to major starting points and search engines for doing research on alternative health topics.

Alternative Health News
An interesting site; the best articles online are gathered and annotated with daily updates in health research news.

Tests vitamin and herbal products to check actual ingredients. Some information available only by subscription.

Mrs. Grieve's A Modern Herbal
The text of a classic (1931) herbal encyclopedia from the web site of You can search on an index and on common names. There are also indexes for poisons and recipes.

Herbs at a Glance
From the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

All herbs and supplements
From MedlinePlus at the National Library of Medicine.

Information on growing, obtaining and using herbs. Very good links to other sites, e.g. universities that offer programs in herbalism.

Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
From Dr. Duke's site. This web site allows you to search on plants or specific chemical compounds and activities, and allows you to limit searches by geographic region. Also provides access to an ethnobotanical dictionary, and links to other plant and nutrition databases.


Cancer Resources

Medline Plus Cancer Topics
From the National Institutes of Health.

From the National Cancer Institute, contains citations from 1966 to the present. Contains more than 1.5 million citations and abstracts from over 4,000 different sources including biomedical journals, proceedings, books, reports, and doctoral theses. Updated monthly.

Created by a non-profit to aid patients to find information.

From the University of Pennsylvania - a wonderful resource for researching clinical information on particular cancers, with links to support groups, financial help, cancer causes, international resources and more.

Drug Information

Drug Information Portal
From the National Library of Medicine.

Drug Information from MedlinePlus
The USP DI (United States Pharmacopeia) Advice to the Patient.

FDA Center for Drug Evaluation
Information about the drugs under current evaluation by the FDA.

Rx List
Searchable database of drug information.

Medicare Drug Plans
Links to information about Medicare Part D.



Flu info for Sonoma County - where to get vaccinated, about the vaccines, links to more information. From Sonoma County Department of Health Services.

Colds and flu information, flu shot locator for Kaiser Permanente Northern California members.

Flu guide from the National Library of Know What to Do About the Flu is the central government website about the flu.


Information in other languages

Healthy Roads Media
Health and medical videos in French, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, and other languages.


Información en español

Covered California español - usted y su familia podrán obtener ayuda financiera para que la cobertura sea más asequible y comparar y escoger el seguro de salud que mejor satisfaga sus necesidades y su presupuesto. Para solicitar por teléfono o para más información:

  • 1-888-975-1142
  • 1-800-300-1506

  • El Cuidado de Salud Asequible (Affordable Care Act) en el Condado de Sonoma: ¿Cómo le afectará la nueva ley del cuidado de salud? - PDF
  • Asistencia de Medi-Cal: a partir de 2014, el estado de California planea ampliar el programa Medicaid (conocido como Medi-Cal en California) para cubrir a personas menores de 65 años, incluidas personas discapacitadas, con ingresos inferiores a $15,000, en el caso de personas, y menores a $31,180, para una familia de cuatro. La cobertura es gratuita para aquellos que cumplen con los requisitos y es parte de lo establecido por la Ley de Cuidado de Salud Asequible.
    • Solicitar Medi-Cal (MisBeneficios CalWIN)
    • Para solicitar en persona u obtener una solicitud: 2550 Paulin Drive, Santa Rosa
    • Para asistencia: 1-877-699-6868

MedlinePlus - el mejor sitio web para la información de salud.

Gripe - una guía del National Library of Medicine.

Resfriados y gripe - informaciones de Kaiser Permanente.