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Ask a Librarian

Searching for Public Health Information

The purpose of this page is to provide a jumping-off point for information about public health topics.

Getting Started

Selecting a Topic - If you need to select your own topic and don't know where to begin, consider the material covered in your classes that interests you, talk to faculty members for ideas, it may also be useful to browse news sources, including but not limited to: 

Keep your subject manageable, i.e. begin as specifically as possible. For instance, managed health care is an extremely broad topic. Managed health care and prescription drugs for the elderly is a more refined topic with a greater likelihood of yielding a manageable amount of information.Work from a specific topic, then broaden your search to include surrounding issues as needed.

Accessing resources from home?

When you are off-campus, you can log onto the library remotely via OpenAthens. When you do so, there is no single, centralized place to login. Rather, the system will prompt you to log in when you try to access one of our resources and remember you for the rest of your browser session.

How you log in is dependent on whether or not you have TouroOne credentials. Below are instructions for both cases.

OpenAthens Login Choices

1. Once you click onto one of our eResources, you will be presented with an OpenAthens login screen that looks like this:

OpenAthens Login Screen - Select TouroOne Credentials Option

2. Click on the “With your TouroOne credentials” option.

3. The system will redirect to the TouroOne login screen.

4. Use your network ID and password to login.

  • If you are using your own computer, remember to click on the “Remember me for 30 days” checkbox so that you don’t have to go through Duo Security every time.

TouroOne Login Screen 

5. Upon successfully logging in, you will be redirected to the eResource you wanted to access.

1. Once you click onto one of our eResources, you will be presented with an OpenAthens login screen that looks like this:

OpenAthens Login Screen - Select NYMC Library Account Option

2. Click on the “NYMC Library Account” option.

3. The system will redirect to the library account login screen.

Library Account Login Screen

4. Use your library username and password to login.

5. Upon successfully logging in, you will be redirected to the eResource you wanted to access.

NOTE: New residents and clinical faculty can register for a library account using the instructions below.

Looking for journal articles on a particular topic?

This is only a partial list of the library's databases, for a complete list go to the databases page.

  • PubMed - Premier bibliographic database in medicine, indexes articles from over 5000 medical and health sciences journals.
  • CINAHL - Major resource for locating nursing, allied health and health administration journal articles.
  • Health Business FullTEXT Elite - Contains full-text articles concerned with the business and administration aspects of medicine.
  • ‚ÄčScienceDirect/Elsevier Journals - Offers full-text access to journals published by Elsevier, Harcourt, and Academic Press.

Trying to find a specific book or journal title?

If you are looking for a print book or journal title, try searching NYMCat, the library's online catalog. If you are looking for an electronic book or journal title, try searching the ePortal, which indexes all of the library's eHoldings. For tips and tricks on using NYMCat or the ePortal, check out the Where Can I Search for Information? tip sheet in the tip sheet and tutorials list.

Is the journal article or book you need not owned by the library?

The Health Sciences Library can order it for you. See our ILLiad guide for more detailed instructions on how to set up an account and order journal articles and books or log onto your ILLiad account here.

Searching for epidemiology software, data sets, agencies, organizations, and associations?

Visit our Epidemiology & Biostatistics guide. To go directly to some of the major statistics sources, try the links below:

Need to locate a particular branch of the state or federal government?

Try USA.gov. It's a good place to locate laws, regulations, federal forms, the text of historical documents such as the Bill of Rights and  the U.S. Constitution, as well as some government publications.

Want information about public health on the state level?

Looking for policies, surveys, and reports?

Here are some links to specific research organizations:

  • The Alan Guttmacher Institute - A non-profit organization concerned with issues of human sexuality, reproduction. Many of their reports can be purchased or downloaded for free.
  • Commonwealth Fund - A private organization that supports research concerning on health and social issues. Many of the reports published by them are available for free over the Internet.
  • Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation - Is a private foundation focusing on public health issues at the national level.
  • Pew Charitable Trusts - Supports non-profit activities in the areas of public health, policy and other societal concerns. 
  • National Academy Press - Created by the National Academies, it publishes numerous online, full-text books written by some of the leading experts in the field of public health.
  • National Academy for State Health Policy - A non-profit, non-partisan organization involved in helping states examine and develop public health policies. While some reports must be purchased, many can be freely downloaded.
  • Office of the Surgeon General - Issues full-text reports in electronic format, on a broad range of health issues.
  • Public Health Foundation - Conducts research regarding health improvement and planning of the public health infrastructure.

Need international information?

Try some of these web sites!

  • Pan American Health Organization - As part of the World Health Organization, the PAHO provides reports on national health status,  health trends, analysis, and more.
  • World Health Organization -The place to go for global health statistics, reports and outlooks.
  • Eurostat - The statistical office of the European Communities. Provides a broad range of european demographic information. Some reports may require payment.
  • UNICEF - A great source for international public health information, with a focus on children.

Some Final Tips

Always identify and document the primary source of information. For example, if you read about a report or study in an article, try and get a copy of that report.  This way you can see the information first hand and formulate your own conclusions. 

If you still can't find what you're looking for call the library at (914) 594-4200 and ask for a reference librarian or send your question to a reference librarian by using "Ask a Librarian," located as a slide-out widget on the upper, right-hand side of every library page.