Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 20 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:817
  1. Harry Brown (DrHarry{at}, general practitioner, Leeds
    • The internet is a superb repository of information about rare and unusual diseases, but the problem is often tracking down the relevant data. There are some highly rated search engines, but a good place to start is, the site index of the US based Office of Rare Diseases. From here, readers can rapidly assess the relevance of the site to their information requirements. The site also provides links, each with a brief description of the site, to an array of high quality web resources where more specific information on a rare disorder can be found.

    • The Johns Hopkins Infectious Disease website at has plenty to offer both casual surfers and serious researchers. The home page provides a useful launch pad to explore the various components of the site, and the in-house search engine helps to pinpoint any specific information that you require. The tables of facts and figures in “Bartlett's Top 10” ( provide some fascinating insights into the world of infectious diseases.

    • If you want a good all round resource for paediatric surgery then look no further than It originates from Puerto Rico and is bristling with useful and relevant information, including a journal and a handbook as well as a links page. There is also information about relevant meetings and bodies such as the associated paediatric surgical department. All this and more is neatly packaged into a colourful and well designed website.

    • If you use a personal computer then you should be interested in the contents of This site is produced by IBM and is a detailed review of how to look after your own or your staff's health and working environment while using a computer. It is interesting and educational, and all computer users would benefit from spending time absorbing some of the facts and data highlighted here.

    • A UK based specialist registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology has assembled an interesting collection of material at There is a useful division of information into sections that are relevant to medical students and to postgraduates, as well as links to journals. Although the site does not hold a large library of information, it is all highly relevant to the target audience. Other parts of the site have patient based data.


    We welcome suggestions for websites to be included in future Netlines. Readers should contact Harry Brown at the above email.

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