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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 beginning to master the information "toolkit" 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 single search box on the library home page ( See image. 


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's Diagnostic Examination (found in Access Med) an electronic book about physical exam that nicely incorporates diagnostic considerations. Includes videos.

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

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 which adds to the content of PubMed. Find it on the library home page - I suggest you bookmark this page) right below PubMed in the Popular ResourcesEmbase covers the same subjects as PubMed but adds 8-9 million articles to the ~32 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 information 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. Reach out to use with your questions: 

We will get back to you shortly.