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Practical Insights for Busy Caregivers

Cutting through the medical jargon

Sometimes it may feel like doctors and other health professionals are speaking another language. Even when they stop to explain medical terms, it’s not always easy to understand them the first time, especially when we’re anxious. In situations like these, a “medical translator” would be a useful thing to have, someone or something we could go to whenever we needed an answer to our lingering questions. is an online medical library that does just that. Based in the United States, it’s designed for patients and their families and friends.

Here’s the description from the site’s About MedlinePlus page:

MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library, it brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free.

You can use MedlinePlus to learn about the latest treatments, look up information on a drug or supplement, find out the meanings of words, or view medical videos or illustrations. You can also get links to the latest medical research on your topic or find out about clinical trials on a disease or condition.

Health professionals and consumers alike can depend on it for information that is authoritative and up-to-date. MedlinePlus has extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over 950 diseases and conditions. There are directories, a medical encyclopedia and a medical dictionary, health information in Spanish, extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information from the media, and links to thousands of clinical trials. MedlinePlus is updated daily and can be bookmarked at the URL: There is no advertising on this site, nor does MedlinePlus endorse any company or product.

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