These mini radio programs are a terrific resource for people of all ages, but adult children and their parents will find they provide a helpful introduction to the National Library of Medicine and Medline Plus. The podcasts used to be narrated by NLM director Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D. but now they are read by NLM staff member Rob Logan, Ph.D., a member of Dr. Lindberg’s library staff. Users encounter the image above when they search for the “casts” in iTunes.
The NLM podcasts are short, informative, easy to understand, and simple to download to a listening device, via iTunes. It’s not uncommon for a program to cite current research and explain its importance and relevance, so a listener can easily locate the research after listening.
So your parent is in the hospital or just returned from a big deal medical appointment. Or maybe it’s you, the adult child, in this situation. Physicians have diagnosed a new condition, they are prescribing medications and tests, and you are hearing — and trying to absorb — lots of unfamiliar medical information.
Where does one go to get started gathering reliable information, learn what needs to be learned, and put it all in perspective?
Visit Medline Plus
What you should not do is start with Google — it’s too likely you’ll get all sorts of kooky questions and answer forums, where people are less focused on gathering information and more interested in sharing stories.
Mobile technology is moving into our lives — whether it’s the phone we carry, the newspaper we read, the heart monitor we must wear for a few days, the smart pass we use at tollbooths, or the gadget that helps to monitor a senior parent with balance issues but who lives alone. Increasingly, mobile gadgets assist us on a daily basis as we accomplish our daily tasks.
Visit the new, more user-friendly MedlinePlus website. As an advocate for aging parents, not to mention other family members, I find this new site terrific, easy to use, and well laid out. It’s colorful with carefully selected typefaces, and a user can get anywhere on the site with just a few clicks. After you explore a bit, navigate through the “cool tools and video” section (third green button on the right), with interactive videos illustrating a wide range of medical conditions and diagnostic procedures. Moreover, in keeping with its non-commercial policy there is never advertising on MedlinePlus.