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Be a Smart Surfer of Health Information

Every day more health websites become available. Many of these sites have excellent information but others contain information that is misleading, outdated or incorrect. How can one sort out the good material from the bad?

First, the Kelly G. Ripken Foundation has selected websites that are reliable and will provide visitors with accurate information about the thyroid gland and its diseases.

Second, there are helpful articles about evaluating websites published in print and online. Jane Brody (health reporter for The New York Times) wrote two articles for The New York Times (Section D, p. 1,6. August 31, 1999) that discuss the issues of using the internet to find health information. TAt the website NOAH, Marilynn Larkin's article "Health Information on the Internet: How to Get the 'Right Stuff'", provides excellent information about how to evaluate medical websites, newsgroups, chat groups, commercial online services, and more. She also supplies names of other evaluation resources. This article can be found at http://noah.cuny.edu/eval.html.

There are also books such as HealthNet by Jeanne C. Ryer. Ryer discusses how to find, use, and evaluate the best health information on the Internet and commercial online services. She also lists and rates over 100 of the top sites for reliability, technical level, and price for commercial services.