Online Resources

This is a list of my favourite online resources for studying medicine

Online Etymology Dictionary

This may seem like an usual choice, however, I am a huge fan of knowing the etymology of medical terms (e.g. diseases, anatomical structures), as often the roots of a word can go a long way to helping remember what it means! For example, if you know that 'rostrum' comes from the Latin for 'beak', then you will always remember that the rostrum of the corpus callosum is the beak-shaped hook at the front!

The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library

This is a completely free resource, from a great American medical publisher. Great overviews of diseases, including gems that you may not find elsewhere. Its main weakness is a lack of very current information.

You also can't go past the podcast version of the Merck Manual of Patient Symptoms - perfect listening for the trip to hospital in the morning!

AccessMedicine (including Harrison's Online)

This is a collection of more than 60 textbooks from McGraw-Hill, and has the ability to search all of them at once. The ability to choose between articles/chapters from books with differering degrees of depth and specialisation is indispensible. Probably my two favourite resources in the collection are:
  • 'Harrison's Online', the online version of the latest edition of the classic book.
  • 'Quick Answers', which provides fantastic short dot-point summaries of topics (adapted from 'CURRENT Medicical Diagnosis and Treatment').
This is a subscription-only service, but most universities subscribe (including UNSW - can be accessed through Sirius).

Best Practice (by BMJ)

An incredibly well-organised, systematic, and very up-to-date British resource. A charm to navigate. Like AccessMedicine, it is subscription-only, and UNSW is a subscriber.


The name says it all. More than any other resource, it can lay claim to being current and comprehensive (verging on exhaustive). If you want a definitive answer to a clinical question, this is where you come. Its main setback is that is often too comprehensive for undergraduate medicine.

Unfortunately, UNSW does not subscribe at this time, presumably due to cost reasons. You can buy a subscription for US$195, or use a trial version for a limited period. Alternatively, we could all email the UNSW library asking them to subscribe, and maybe one day they will relent...

Therapeutic Guidelines

The area in which one most needs to find Australian-specific contents is drugs and dosing. The online version of the Therapeutic Guidlines (eTG) is an unparalleled resource in this regard. UNSW subscribes to this resource. If your university does not subscribe, an annual student subscription will unfortunately cost you a hefty $240.