Useful Internet sites

American Health Consultants: Up-to-date news for health care professionals from the publisher of Patient Satisfaction & Outcomes Management, including an opportunity to query experts and an extensive list of direct links to other health care sites.

American Medical Association: Provides a searchable database of physician profiles listing education and credential information. Also offers portions of the Journal of the American Medical Association and other services for physicians.

Avicenna: Avicenna Systems Corp. of Cambridge, MA, which specializes in Internet-based information systems for the health care community, provides access to the San Francisco-based First DataBank database of clinical information on more than 200,000 FDA-approved therapeutics; outcomes benchmarks from MediQual Systems in Westborough, MA; and summaries of more than 700 clinical topics from OutlineMed of Boston.

CenterWatch: Provides a searchable database of some 2,500 ongoing clinical trials, as well as information about drugs newly approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Cyberrounds: A site for physicians provides "conferences" on various topics, as well as opportunities to query experts and even receive second opinions on specific cases.

HealthNet: Promotes "self-managed care" for patients with an emphasis on alternative therapies.

MedScape: Provides free access to MEDLINE and other databases of clinical journals, as well as cyber-conferences for physicians and "CareNotes," published by Micromedex of Denver, that are geared toward patients and give an overview of an illness, injury, disease, or medication.

National Institute of Medicine: Offers access to databases, including MEDLINE, which allows users to search for journal articles by author, topic, and journal. There is a fee required to access some databases.