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Health Law Legal Research: Medical Information

Medical Research for Lawyers

Medical literature is primarily found by using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) to search in MEDLINE. MEDLINE is maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and contains over 21 million citations in all areas of life sciences and biomedicine. The first step to finding medical literature on a topic is finding the appropriate MeSH term or terms for the concept. This is because the medical terminology used in the literature can be different from the common names, and a particular disease, condition, or treatment can have related concepts that should also be searched. Once terms have been found, you can search for MEDLINE citations in one of several free or paid databases listed below.

If the full text of an article is not available in the particular database, click the Get Itbutton to see if Drexel has access to the article elsewhere or in print. If searching PubMed, you will need to check the library catalog or the Electronic Journal Portal to find the full text of the article if available at Drexel. Search using the name of the journal, not the title of the article. If the article is not available at Drexel, it can be requested using Illiad inter-library loan.

For more information about how to search medical literature for legal purposes, and an explanation of what types of medical literature are the most authoritative, see: Caroline Young, Medico-Legal Research Using Evidence-Based Medicine, 102 Law Lib. J. 449 (2010).

Other Sources of Medical Information

Other useful tools for finding health sciences related literature include:

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias