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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 articles from home?

Simply, follow these instructions to log in via the proxy server:

  1. Go to the library's homepage
  2. In the upper left section of the screen (right above the Quick Links* panel), you should see a link that says "Login to the NYMC network."
  3. Click the link and enter your username & password.
    • If you are a student, a faculty member, or an employee of NYMC, you can enter your NYMC network login/username & password (the same login used to check your email).
    • If you are a resident, you will receive your username and a temporary password (which you can change if you wish) after you have self-registered.  You can self-register here.  See the document below for more detailed instructions.  Access Services will then need to confirm your status as an NYMC resident, which can take approximately 1-2 business days.  
  4. Once you're logged in, the login link should now be replaced with the following message: "You are logged into the NYMC network."

Looking for journal articles on a particular topic?

If you are off campus, you must first login on the library homepage before accessing the databases below. 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.
  • Nursing and Allied Health Collection: Comprehensive - Contains full-text journals covering the areas of nursing, biomedicine, health sciences, consumer health and allied health disciplines.
  • Health Business FullTEXT Elite - Contains full-text articles concerned with the business and administration aspects of medicine.
  • Lexis-Nexis - Good resource to use when looking for legislation documents, case law, and news articles.
  • ScienceDirect/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 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.