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Library Resources as you start Medical School

Hi all, and welcome to UCSF and to your med school journey. I am Evans Whitaker and am you library liaison. If you need any help finding or organizing information I am here to held you. You can find me in the library or email me at


It has been said that information is the most important tool for today’s physician. If that is true, then knowing how to use that tool is a critical skill.

To help you with begin to master the "information tool" as you start medical school, we have provided this selected group of resources you can use.


The stuff

Electronic books:

AccessMedicine is primarily a collection of clinical and basic science textbooks. Also check out Diagnosaurus found at DDx under the Quick Reference tab.

We have access to over 500,000 electronic books. To find them efficiently use the UCSF Library Catalog ( this video is about 4 minutes, it is being updated but you will still get what you need from it). The library website is changing and access to books may change with it, we’ll keep you posted!


            Netter Presenter based on the wonderfully clear anatomical drawings of Frank Netter.

            Aclands Video Atlas to Human Anatomy uses cadaveric dissections to show anatomy. Narrator has a cool British accent.

Physical exam:

Bates Visual Guide to Physical Examination these videos take you through the history and physical step by step.

image of dinosaur in white coat, stethoscope, and tablet computerDiagnostic reasoning:

Degowin (found in Access Med) an electronic book about physical exam that nicely incorporates diagnostic considerations.

Diagnosaurus (also found in Access Med and mentioned above) a simple differential diagnosis application

Procedural videos:

Procedures Consult video tutorials of common clinical procedures.

UpToDate is essentially a huge, relatively up to date, textbook of clinical medicine. Note that LexiComp is a full-featured drug reference included in UpToDate.

Embase is a biomedical database. Find it at the library home page right below PubMed in the left column (I suggest you bookmark this page). Embase covers the same subjects as PubMed but adds 8-9 million articles to the ~27 million found in PubMed. Most find the user interface more intuitive than PubMed.

MedlinePlus is PubMed written for the general public. As you start out, and before the specialized language of medicine becomes familiar, this can be a great source of introductory information. The material is deeply layered and surprisingly broad. The inforamtion is all vetted unlike other sources some of which start with "W". Remember MedlinePlus when you are advising patients where they might look up more information about a medical topic.

A final reminder

UCSF Library is here to help you with your information finding and organization needs. Evans Whitaker is your liaison librarian and he can be reached at