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Health & Medicine: Research Resources

Information sources for the researching general medical topics


Use the search box on the library webpage to look for books in the SCC and SFCC libraries.

Books that check out are on the 2nd floor of the library.

You'll find health and medicine in these Dewey Decimal areas:

610 - 619

Reference books are on the 1st floor of the library. These include medical dictionaries, drug books, encyclopedias and handbooks. Here are some examples:

 cover of Stedman's Medical Dictionary

Stedman's Medical Dictionary
(R610.3 STEDMAN)

 cover of Merck Manual Home Health Handbook

Merck Manual Home Health Handbook
(R610 MERCK M)


cover of Mayo Clinic Family Health Book

Mayo Clinic Family Health Book
(R613 MAYO CL)


cover of Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment

Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment
(R616.075 CURRENT)

cover of Physician's Desk Reference

Physicians' Desk Reference: PDR 


Health & Medicine


This Research Guide will help you find general health and medical information in books, library databases and websites.

For information on specific allied health fields: 
Allied Health Research Guide

health professional taking patient's blood pressure

Source: CDC Public Health Image Library,

Disclaimer: The information made available through this research guide is not intended to be a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. Please consult a physician if you have symptoms that may require diagnosis and medical treatment or if you would like more information on these topics. 

Deciphering Medspeak

Medspeak Terms
alphabetical list of medical words with easy-to-understand definitions; from the Medical Library Association

Understanding Medical Words
fun, interactive tutorial; from the National Library of Medicine

Help with Research

You can get help with your research by chatting online with a librarian (available 24/7), by emailing us (, or by calling the SCC Library Reference Desk at (509) 533-8821 during our normal business hours.

Citation Guides
How to cite sources in Chicago style, plus other writing assistance information.

Library Databases

Library databases contain reliable information that is generally not available elsewhere on the Web. They can be found in the research databases section of the SCC Library homepage.

Credo Reference
collection of online reference books, including over 30 in the area of medicine, mostly dictionaries

Gale Virtual Reference Library
collection of online encyclopedias, including titles covering cancer, drugs, surgery, mental health, and alternative medicine

primarily a source of drug and disease information for healthcare professionals, but also includes a database of easy-to-understand information for patients called CareNotes System

index to more than 5,500 magazines, journals and newspapers

The following databases deal exclusively with the health sciences.  They are designed for healthcare professionals and may contain information that is difficult to read for the average person.

CINAHL Complete
articles in nursing and allied health journals

Cochrane Library
evidence-based health care information, including reports on the effectiveness of different medical treatments and interventions

Health Reference Center Academic
articles, pamphlets and reference books

Recommended Websites

Excellent starting point for your research; reliable, up-to-date health information from the National Institutes of Health and National Library of Medicine

Merck Manual - Consumer Edition
written for the consumer; explains disorders, symptoms, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and prognosis

Merck Manual - Professional Version
written for the healthcare professional

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
credible source for information on health and safety topics
health information from the American Academy of Family Physicians
resources on a wide range of health topics selected from government and non-profit organizations; developed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

health information written and edited by physicians and educators from the Mayo Clinic

Sources for Statistics

Public Health Data - Spokane Regional Health District
reports and fact sheets about community health issues for the Spokane area


Kaiser State Health Facts
a project of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation designed to provide free, up-to-date, and easy-to-use health data for all 50 states

National Center for Health Statistics
a rich source of statistical information about America's health