Kim Foster
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Medical Resources For Writers


If you’re a writer, you want to get the medical details right. Here’s a curated list of resources to help you do that:


The Merck Manual (Home Edition)

-a complete medical manual, with emphasis on diagnosis & therapy (this version is written for lay people)



-a comprehensive site with information on illnesses, symptoms, medications, etc.


US National Library of Medicine

-world’s largest medical library; PubMed available here (searchable research & studies)



-resource for all things medical, by MedScape


Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

-wide variety of information on illnesses, infectious diseases, and global issues such as terrorism.


Lab Tests Online

-a public resource for information on lab tests and diseases


Mayo Clinic

-lots of information on symptoms, diseases, and tests


Med Terms

-a medical dictionary for laypeople

-information about medication (US):


Medbroadcast Drug Info

-information about medication (Canada):


Gray’s Anatomy

-the complete textbook, on Bartleby


The Writer’s Forensics Blog

-written by DP Lyle, MD.


Death Reference

-an encyclopedia of all things related to death & dying


National Organization for Rare Disorders

-contains a database on rare diseases


American Psychiatric Association DSM-5

-the diagnostic manual for psychiatric illness


WHO: World Health Organization

-for all global health issues


Poisonous Plant Database

-by Cornell University


National Association of Medical Examiners

-official information for the public on death certification and the like


The History of Medicine

-by the Science Museum in London, UK


Forensic Magazine