1. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    Researching medical (and other) questions

    Discussion in 'Research' started by hippocampus, Feb 17, 2012.

    My MC is a doctor. However, I am not! And I don't know any except my own GP, etc..

    Any suggestions where I can get some accurate advice on specific medical questions? There's only so much I can find out via google, wikipedia and sites like WebMD. Sometimes I need to ask a specific question like, "If someone has xyz traits, what genetic markers will you see in the blood?" And so on.

    I've considered resources like Ask.com, Yahoo Answers and Just Answer. I'm concerned about 1) the accuracy of answers, 2) raising undue concerns with some of the questions (like 'if someone is poisoned by anti-freeze, what would you do first'), or 3) wasting the time of actual doctors by asking questions for a book.

    Is there a good place for writers to go for this type of research? Maybe a user forum dedicated to writers' needs?
     
  2. MVP
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    MVP Member

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    You are not going to get accurate answers from yahoo, and ask. WebMD is questionable.

    Biomarkers can be biomedical research or clinical lab (Lab techs, MLS, & PhDs). If you want treatment protocol, that is clinicians (MD, DO, CRNP, PA, Paramedic, nurses). That is not a hard fast list, there will be researchers that know some treatment protocol, and there will be clinicians that perform research. Ask your GP if he knows a retired Physician that may be willing to talk with you. As far as biomarkers, reference of choice is Genes X by Lewin, be aware its an advanced text. You can also explore PubMed Central for journal articles, users have free access there as opposed to PubMed.
     
  3. UberNoodle
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    UberNoodle Senior Member

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    At university, aeons ago, I was required to do a lot of primary research. I know it sounds quaint, but I used this device caled a telephone. It was connected by wires to a 'dialing unit' on a table, and from there, a wire connected to a socket in the wall. Using this device, I called various organisations and government and academic departments and requested literature. I also managed to schedule some time to interview some academics and others about their field. This last part was harder, but essential. I'm sure there's some new, high tech equivalent to this available today.

    Just kidding! I'm not that old.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    noodle, when I was in COLLEGE, there wasn't an Internet. You went into the library, loaded with caffeine, and you browsed card catalogs (i.e. thumbed through index cards in a drawer). Then you took your list to the desk, and the librarian would look in the back for papers and microfiches. Ten percent of your documents cannot be found. You take the other ninety percent to the copier with a pocketful of coins, and then you retyunr the originals to the desk. The microfiches, you load one at a time into a reader the size of a dorm room refrigerator, scan through until you find your pages, and press the print button repeatedly. Then you rub your red-rimmed eyes and return the microfiches to the desk.

    Next you locate the textbooks in the stacks. Some you will have to take to the copier, because they cannot be checked out. The ones that can be borrowed, you preview to find the most promising ones up to your carry limit. Then you take them to the desk check them out, and retrieve your student ID card that was held until you returned everything that needed to go back to the desk.

    Then you stumble back to your room, collapse for a few hours, then strat in onm the textbooks you borrowed.

    By the time you finishe, you have another list of topics to cover, so you return to the library and start it all again.

    Oh, and you probably need to visiet more than one of the several libraries on campus. If your topic is speciualized enough, you will ask the librarian to retrieve copies of materials from other libraries in other cities.

    Also, not everything you needed was in English, including some indispensable reference works. So you learn to wade through some German or Italian. No Google Translate to make it easier.

    Even the archie online reseach tool was an amazing advance in the art of research.

    This is why I sometimes seem a bit impatient when someone says how hard it is to find anything on google.
     
  5. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    This may be of some help to you: an NHS website aimed at practitioners, not patients: http://www.cks.nhs.uk/home

    It might be a starting point, if nothing else...it has links to elsewhere etc
    Note that (since March 2011) it is no longer being updated and has, perhaps for you at least, been superseded by a less helpful resource.
     
  6. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    @Cogito - I'm dating myself here, but the internet didn't exist for my college days either. And, as an ex-web developer, I consider myself quite adept at google searches and I greatly appreciate how the internet has made my life so much easier than it used to be. However, the internet is rife with inaccuracies. I do not have the medical background necessary to filter out the truth from the fiction.

    @MVP - thank you for your suggestions and referrals to Genes X and PubMed Central. That's just the sort of direction I was looking for.

    @UberNoodle - thanks to you too - your post reminded me of the group SCORE. Perhaps there's something similar for retired docs.
     
  7. hippocampus
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    hippocampus Active Member

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    Awesome! Thank you. I'm certain to find this website a useful reference tool. I don't see a lot of UK sites come up in my searches.
     
  8. BFGuru
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    BFGuru Active Member

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    How about simply talking with your GP? S/he can be a launching point if nothing else.
     

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