Recommended

WebMD

WebMD has a wide range of topics, including diseases & conditions, health & wellness, family & pregnancy, and disease centers. Other sections discuss tests, first aid, parenting, and age-related issues. The site is recommended to anyone who wants a broad overview of virtually any health topic.

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Review Date: 5/21/2018

Scoring

Ease of Use

One of the more difficult medical websites to navigate. Hundreds of health topics are accessed from the "Health A-Z" drop down menu. Content is not always presented logically because related articles, blogs, message boards, and advertisements are mixed throughout. Searching for information can be overwhelming, returning thousands of unique results and no filtering options. Further, nested links send users deeper and deeper into searches without an easy return to the landing page.

Visual Design

Homepage is cluttered with a disorganized jumble of articles, tools, and advertisements. In fact, users cannot be sure that articles are authored by doctors. Large font and small chunks of text with lots of white space in between should make the content easy to read. However, the website contains many intrusive advertisements that are embedded within and surrounding the health content.

Quality

WebMD provides perhaps the most comprehensive health content online today. Better yet, all content is referenced and reviewed by medical professionals, many of whom are specialists. There is even a general statement that the content is based on recent evidence and practice. Some topics are explored in more depth than others, but this website is a first-stop destination for many—and for good reason.

Credibility

All site content is authored and reviewed by a staff of physicians, medical journalists, and health reporters. Even with such a large amount of information, WebMD makes sure its content is credible and up to date within 2-3 years.

Pros

  1. Hundreds of health articles on specific diseases and conditions, drugs and supplements, healthy living, family and pregnancy, and news
  2. Articles are either written or reviewed by medical professionals and generally up-to-date within a year or two
  3. Site excels at presenting material clearly for a general audience
  4. Information on Natural and Alternative Therapies

Cons

  1. Searching keywords returns an overwhelming number of results
  2. Pages are cluttered with commercial advertisements and links to additional information
  3. So many choices it can be hard to know where to begin browsing
  4. General nature of health content is superficial for some topics
  5. Need to navigate multiple pages per topic and link to other articles to get an overall/more complete picture

Profile

Sponsors / Affiliations: Internet Brands, LLC, a for-profit consumer media company

Accreditations: URAC (2018), HON seal (2018), TRUSTe Certified privacy

Additional Features: Symptom-checker, news, blogs, video library, slide shows, condition-specific support groups, quizzes, Q&A, message boards, health assessment tools, interviews

Languages: English

Contact: mheinley@webmd.net

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