Nov 05

Anatomia 1522 to 1867 – Anatomical Plates

Anatomia 1522 to 1867 – Anatomical Plates from the (University of Toronto) Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

This collection features approximately 4500 full page plates and other significant illustrations of human anatomy selected from the Jason A. Hannah and Academy of Medicine collections in the history of medicine at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto. Each illustration has been fully indexed using medical subject headings (MeSH), and techniques of illustration, artists, and engravers have been identified whenever possible. There are ninety-five individual titles represented, ranging in date from 1522 to 1867.

Oct 11

Human Embryology Resources

Two resources I stumbled across recently:

The Multi-Dimensional Human Embryo is a collaboration funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to produce and make available over the internet a three-dimensional image reference of the Human Embryo based on magnetic resonance imaging. The collection of images is intended to serve students, researchers, clinicians, and the general public interested in studying and teaching human development.

Tons of images and videos (Quicktime) available

Human Embryology

This website contains supplemental materials for William Larsen’s Human Embryology textbooks. Contents include:

1. Animations of developmental processes
2. Updates and links
3. Self-testing exercises
4. Glossaries
5. Instructor’s Manual

Jul 16

Medie, meet Hal

So, today I tried out Medie. I’d said I’d write about it as a third party Medline tool. I can’t. At least not as a hospital librarian. I was going to try to give it a pat on its back and insincerely flash it half a smile so it wouldn’t feel too badly about itself.

Instead, I’ll tell you what I really think of it. The first problem I noticed was that it doesn’t use MeSH (and therefore you can’t focus or use subheadings), so you’re losing massive precision right away. The other biggie I couldn’t get past was that it lists by PMID number, not title and author.

Sounds like I hate it, right? Not at all. Once I learned more about it and understood what it does, I was blown away.

As per David’s original post, it is a semantic search engine. The first time I learned of semantic search and natural language, I thought “interesting!” in the way that means “when’s lunch?”

This has changed my mind completely.

Let me take a step back for a moment. One of the first things I mention when I teach Medline is that you are using a computer. You can’t talk to it like you are asking me a question. You need to represent your concepts with words and terms and phrases and connect them appropriately. Then I launch into Boolean logic and MeSH.

Medie is a project of Tsujii Laboratory at the University of Tokyo that works on Natural Language Processing and Computational Linguistics. Basically, this means that it can root your word and process algorithms so that you search the database with natural language. If it doesn’t already, it will be “thinking” that when you type heart you may also like results with cardiac. That is too basic of an example, but hopefully you get the idea.

So, when you search Medie you enter search terms into basic parts of speech (subject, verb, object) and out pop your results, with the line or two of text it picked up color-coded by part of speech. It does have some additional search options that I can see as being very useful and helpful. But as I can’t recommend it for searching now, I’ll let you discover those on your own. I should note that I didn’t find any information on what text is searched or omitted, or how results are ranked.

But in the future I can see Hal saying: “I’m sorry, Dave I’m afraid I can do that.”

Jun 11

VisualDxHealth MyDiseaseFinder (Online Dx Tool)

I’ve been rethinking my previous post on “symptom-based search”, and thinking that I’ve been sloppy with my language. Some of these tools include a search component (sometimes searching proprietary content, sometimes searching the Web, sometimes searching select Web sites), but I think categorizing them as “search” tools was a mistake. From now on, I’ll refer to these as online Dx tools.

Today’s addition to the list is the VisualDxHealth My Disease Finder

Select the patient’s age and gender:

Graphically select the part of the body:

…and click Go:

Photographs fitting the criteria are then displaid:

This appears to be most useful in identifying dermatological conditions.

Also interesting from VisualDxHealth, embeddable Widgets for iGoogle or for any Web page:

My Disease Finder

search visual diseases by body location

Previous posts about online diagnostic tools
May 24

Online Resources for Medical Abbreviations

I’ve previously mentioned (particularly its medical abbreviations section) as a resource for looking up medical abbreviations, acronyms, or initialisms and I’ve posted about KMLE – but I’ve encountered a few more lately that appear worth noting:

Stanford Biomedical Abbreviation Server

Used a text-mining approach to create a database dictionary from PubMed/MEDLINE citations.

We have scanned 11,447,996 PubMed citations for abbreviations and put them in a database. The database currently has 2,074,367 abbreviations. This work has been published in:
Chang JT, Schütze H, and Altman RB (2002). Creating an Online Dictionary of Abbreviations from MEDLINE. The Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 9(6): 612-20.
[ PubMed | PDF ]


Like Stanford’s Biomedical Abbreviation Server, the National Centre for Text Mining (UK) built Acromine via text-mining in MEDLINE.

See Also:
Okazaki, N., Ananiadou, S. (2006) Building an abbreviation dictionary using a term recognition approach. Bioinformatics.

ADAM: Another Database of Abbreviations in MEDLINE

See Also:
Zhou W, Torvik VI, Smalheiser NR. ADAM: another database of abbreviations in MEDLINE. Bioinformatics 2006; 22(22): 2813-2818.

Wikipedia List of Medical Abbreviations

I’d really like to see an additional column in this list that indicates if the abbreviation is on the Joint Commission’s Official “Do Not Use” List. Speaking of which:

Joint Commision’s Official “Do Not Use” List

Official List (PDF)

FAQ about the Official List (PDF)

Facts about the Official “Do Not Use” List


Below is a list of medical abbreviations and acronyms. To use, simply click on the list and enter the 1st letter of the term and scroll until you find the medical abbreviations you are looking for.

Do you have a favorite? What do you like about it? What do you use it for?

Apr 27

UCSD Catalog of Clinical Images

This site is a visual educational resource dedicated to providing pictures that are representative of common and uncommon physical exam findings. Discussions of pathophysiology, diagnostics, and treatment are not included. View the “Links” to see selected related sites.

Feel free to download images for use in your own educational endeavors, though please provide appropriate credit for the author and this site. Please send comments to Charlie Goldberg, M.D.


Check it out.


Apr 22

“Laptop Librarians” outreach program

Below: embedded flash video

Interesting outreach program by the Macon State College Library sends librarians with laptops to the cafeteria/student life center at lunchtime to answer reference questions or help students find information they need for their coursework.

It seems like a groovy idea to me. One question: Why only 90 minutes per week?

Apr 11 (Visual Review of Ophthalmic Disorders)


Welcome to
This website is a free, electronic atlas of eye disorders designed to help Ophthalmologists and Optometrists-in-training learn to identify eye diseases through pattern recognition. Since our launch on February 2, 2002, we have received over 3,000,000 hits from more than 60 countries around the world. The atlas is currently being hosted through the generosity of the Doheny Eye Institute at the University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine.


How to use the site


Thanks, Hope!

Mar 15

Online Anatomy and Medical Illustration Resources

A request from a patron resulted in my collecting a list of anatomy and medical illustration resources:

The Visible Human

The Visible Human Project® is an outgrowth of the NLM’s 1986 Long-Range Plan. It is the creation of complete, anatomically detailed, three-dimensional representations of the normal male and female human bodies. Acquisition of transverse CT, MR and cryosection images of representative male and female cadavers has been completed. The male was sectioned at one millimeter intervals, the female at one-third of a millimeter intervals.

This page is a gold mine of neat stuff.

NetAnatomy Home Page
Created by physicians and Ph.D.s at George Washington University and the American University of Beirut, NetAnatomy contains sections on radiographic, cross-sectional, and gross anatomy.

NetAnatomy is designed to teach human anatomy to students of the health professions, including undergraduate medical, health sciences, and nursing students. NetAnatomy also serves as a place to review anatomy after one’s initial exposure to the subject, e.g. students beginning a clinical rotation, USMLE (National Board) preparation, etc. View how anatomical content is selected for inclusion for information on the factors that govern anatomical content at this website.

WebAnatomy (University of MN)

“A collection of study aids for entry-level anatomy and physiology students”

Instant Anatomy

Created by Robert Whitaker, retired pediatric urological surgeon. Dr. Whitaker teaches clinically applied topographical anatomy at Cambridge University, and is an examiner for the MRCS at the English and Edinburgh Colleges of Surgeons.

Human Anatomy Online


Welcome to inner exploration of Human Anatomy. Each topic has animations, 100’s of graphics, and thousands of descriptive links. Study the anatomy of the human body. It’s fun, interactive, and an ideal reference site for students or those who just want to know more about the medical descriptions used by doctors and nurses.

Anatomy Atlases

List of anatomy links collected by Dr. Ronald Bergman, PhD.

Dr. Bergman has taught anatomy for nearly half a century. He holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois and was a fellow at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. He has held faculty appointments at the Johns Hopkins University Medical School and the American University of Beirut. He joined the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine faculty in 1980, and retired from there in 1997. Always the teacher, Dr. Bergman continues to reach new generations of students through Anatomy Atlases.

AMA Atlas of the Body


Dream Anatomy


The interior of our bodies is hidden to us. What happens beneath the skin is mysterious, fearful, amazing. In antiquity, the body’s internal structure was the subject of speculation, fantasy, and some study, but there were few efforts to represent it in pictures. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century-and the cascade of print technologies that followed-helped to inspire a new spectacular science of anatomy, and new spectacular visions of the body. Anatomical imagery proliferated, detailed and informative but also whimsical, surreal, beautiful, and grotesque — a dream anatomy that reveals as much about the outer world as it does the inner self.

Medical Animation Library (University of Pennsylvania)

Flash and Quicktime animations by A.D.A.M.

Street Anatomy (via)

Vanessa Ruiz, a graduate student in Biomedical Visualization at the University of Illinois at Chicago, blogs about Medical Illustration. Fascinating and fun.

Mar 14

MusicTonic: Cool Music Search Mashup


MusicTonic lets you browse through music artists by genre or directly search, returning related images, videos, blog posts, and a list of “Related Artists”- all in one interface.

Screencap of MusicTonic

Just to put it to the test, I thought I’d try searches on musicians not quite as well known as the Beatles, and was fairly impressed with the results.

Richard Thompson
The Wood Brothers
Jurassic 5
Youngblood Brass Band
Paul Pena

Data is mashed up from YouTube,,Yahoo Search, Amazon, Technorati, and OpenStrands– but I’d love to see it use news from Topix or Google News, too.


For a different sort of musician searching, check out LivePlasma (does movies and actors too).

Mar 13

MLA-HLS Wiki and Radiation Event Medical Management

Regular readers know that I try to avoid posting about topics that other medical library bloggers have covered, but these are both exciting resources that really shouldn’t be missed.


Welcome to the hospital librarians’ wiki. The wiki is sponsored by the Hospital Libraries Section of the Medical Library Association, an organization of 1,200 members who promote the role of libraries in the healthcare setting. The purpose is to provide a sandbox in which we can share best practices in the true spirit of knowledge management in a forum that is easily accessed, archived, searched, and modified. Please feel free to add your content. The search engine is excellent; try it, the dialog box on the left.

It is a great idea. Now along with the UBC HealthLib-Wiki, there are now TWO Wikis for medical libraries- and that’s great.

Radiation Event Medical Management

  • Provide guidance for health care providers, primarily physicians, about clinical diagnosis and treatment during mass casualty radiological/nuclear (rad/nuc) events
  • Provide just-in-time, evidence-based, usable information with sufficient background and context to make complex issues understandable to those without formal radiation medicine expertise
  • Provide web-based information that is also downloadable in advance, so that it would be available during an event if the internet is not accessible
Mar 12

Round-Up: Finding Libraries

A recent thread on the Web4Lib listserv explored various Web tools for locating libraries geographically. Here’s a review of those plus a few more.

(Click thumbnails for larger images)

National Center for Education Statistics: Library Statistics Program*

Public Library Geographic Database (PLGDB) Mapping

MapMuse: Public Libraries*

WebJunction: Online Directory of Public Library Statistics*
“Here’s a directory of public library statistics available online, organized by state.”

WebJunction: LIBWEB

Library Research Service

Libraries in Yahoo Directory
Libraries in Yahoo Directory

Canadian Library Gateway
Find Canadian libraries
Canadian Library Gateway

(Find medical libraries in the U.S. and Canada)

Let me know which resources I’ve missed and I’ll add ’em.

*via Web4Lib

Mar 05

Heart Center Encyclopedia (Pediatric Cardiology)


Pediatric Heart Information for Patients, Families, Medical Professionals

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Heart Center staff compiled this Heart Center Encyclopedia to provide easily accessible information on cardiac diseases, defects, disorders, and problems that may affect a child’s heart.

The Heart Center Encyclopedia also provides information about options available to diagnose and treat children’s heart conditions and anomalies.

Cincinnati Children’s Heart Center staff believe supplying information is a vital component to providing the highest level of care to patients, as well as support to their families, physicians and other health care professionals.


Mar 01

Abbreviations (Including Medical)

Abbreviations Logo is a nifty site for looking up the meanings of (appropriately enough) abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms.

Because people working in a medical environment have great need of this sort of service, the site has a section just for medical abbreviations in 6 categories: Hospitals (939 entries), Human Genome (941 entries), Laboratory (1002 entries), Oncology (743 entries), Physiology (6402 entries) and Veterinary (1835 entries).

And because we live in a Web 2.0 world, you can add new items to the site and get Mac widgets or browser plugins for it.

Mar 01 and
Great page that brings together twelve different radiology searching tools. is a Pediatric Radiology information, publication and communication platform. Find interesting and typical image findings of the child and the juvenile age. Publish your own peer reviewed cases and teaching files. Discuss with other colleagues about peer reviewed pediatric radiological cases and introduce indeterminate findings. Read Pediatric Radiology news around the world of the pediatric radiologist.

Previously mentioned radiology resources:

Feb 23

Pain Treatment Topics

The mission of Pain Treatment Topics is to provide access to news, information, research, and education relating to the causes and effective management of pain. Along with that, we are dedicated to offering contents that are evidence-based, unbiased, non-commercial, and comply with the highest standards and principles of accrediting and other oversight organizations.


(Thanks, Hope!)

Jan 03

DermAtlas is a searchable Dermatology Image Atlas containing (at this moment) 9286 images created via contributions from 395 individuals (and counting) in 62 nations.

Above: Entry in search results

DermAtlas .org features an Advanced Search, a great page of Dermatology Links, and a Submit form for those who wish to contribute. Each entry has multiple hyperlinks to help the user find similar or related images.

Above: Full size entry

Thanks to Hope Leman for pointing this site out!