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Health Information: Getting Started

Resources for understanding health conditions and accessing health care
For information pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, please view and read the Boston Public Library's blog post, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources.

Our goal is to help you find accurate and reliable sources of information to answer your health related questions.  

Within this guide you will find:

  • resources that provide an overview of anatomy, illness, symptoms, treatment, medication and general health issues
  • tips on how to recognize if health information is reliable (and how to avoid scams!)
  • resources for finding information on health research studies
  • directories for local hospitals, health professionals and specialists
  • contact information for organizations that assist with obtaining health insurance in Massachusetts

While the resources listed here are intended to help you become a more knowledgeable health care consumerthey do not replace the expert advice of a qualified health care professional. We encourage you to consult with a health care provider when making health related decisions.

Communicating with your Doctor

Where to find information on...

Genetics:  Basic information on genetics and its impact on health (from the National Library of Medicine)

Household Products:  Health and safety information on household products (from the National Library of Medicine)

Lab Tests:  Information to understand lab results (from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry)

Travelers' Health:  Information you need to know before you travel (from the Center for Disease Control) 

Online Resources for Understanding Health Conditions

Browse the Library Catalog by Topic

For a list of non-fiction material about Heart Disease, click here.

For a list of non-fiction material about Cancer, click here.

For a list of non-fiction material about Depression, click here.

For a list of non-fiction material about Stroke, click here.

For a list of non-fiction material about Arthritis, click here.

For a list of non-fiction material about Anatomy, click here.

For a list of non-fiction material authored by the Mayo Clinic, click here.