Subject – Medicine

Key Resources for Medicine

Welcome to Key Resources for Medicine (KR4M)

These pages bring together library resources for your studies and research in Medicine.

Each of the tabs above highlight key subject-related resources which you will find useful during your course.

To book a study skills session or visit a study skills drop-in go to the Study Skills pages

For more details on using the library facilities have a look at the Library Essentials videos and training sessions

*NEW* Library Search

The University has invested in a new tool to search our collections, here’s a video on how to start searching:

Hello! I’m here to help you with selecting and searching medical and health resources.

You can a book one-to-one appointment with me via the Study Skills pages.

I look forward to meeting you.

The RSS feeds below show most recent content from BMJ and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)

RSS BMJ (RSS feed)

  • Situational judgment test is scrapped under new system for allocating foundation training places June 2, 2023
    The way medical students are allocated to foundation training places in the UK will undergo a major change this year, NHS England has announced.The system that determines where in the UK medical graduates complete two years of foundation training will be based on a ranking generated through the Oriel computer system. Medical graduates also will […]
  • Anthony David Clift June 2, 2023
    bmj;381/jun02_9/p1260/FAF1faAnthony David Clift (“Tony”) was born in Manchester, where he also went to medical school, which he enjoyed tremendously. He did his national service in the Royal Air Force and was based at Valley in Anglesey. He seriously considered staying on, having generally had a whale of a time there. He eventually opted for general […]
  • Roger Gabriel June 2, 2023
    bmj;381/jun02_8/p613/FAF1faRoger Gabriel was born in Canton, Cardiff, on 13 January 1938. His family lived in a flat above Lloyds Bank. Roger attended Monkton House and Llandaff Cathedral schools. He took his A levels at Cardiff Technical College.Roger had a long and illustrious medical career—by the age of 83 he had achieved the remarkable accomplishment of […]
  • John Francis Doran June 2, 2023
    bmj;381/jun02_7/p1236/FAF1faJohn Francis Doran studied dentistry at the Royal Dental Hospital, London, achieving his bachelors degree in dental surgery in 1969. After six months in oral surgery he joined Voluntary Service Overseas in Malaysia and worked as a dental officer in Kuala Lumpur and surrounding jungle areas, providing dental services to indigenous people whose teeth had […]
  • Nicholas Hanson Sheldon June 2, 2023
    bmj;381/jun02_6/p1237/FAF1faNicholas Hanson Sheldon (“Nick”) was born to Dennis and Nadine Sheldon in Derby City Hospital. His father (a third generation doctor) was GP for Repton School. From young, Nick had his nose in a book and showed promise at school. St Wystan’s, Repton, followed by prep school Stancliffe Hall, where he became the renowned anchor […]


Books: authoritative, reliable resources – best for background questions.

Start here to find out about the resources below.

All books and eBooks are available in Library Search, but you may want to use the eBook platforms because they search the full text of each book in the collection and have other features you can use too.

eBook collections specifically for medicine:

ClinicalKey Student

An excellent resource of high-quality ebook textbooks and other titles, containing many key texts in basic science and clinical medicine – also includes images and videos.


More high-quality ebook textbooks and other titles, focused on medical specialties, but also includes basic science and other clinical texts – also includes cases and self assessment questions

LWW Health Library 

Another superb resource containing high-quality ebook textbooks. The collection focus is the science behind medicine – also includes videos, cases and self assessment questions

Fast Facts Series

A collection of more than 100 eBooks covering multiple topics across the field of medicine. Examples include: oncology, gynecology, endocrinology, chemotherapy and psychiatry.

Search the Library collection for books and eBooks:

Library Search box on the Library’s homepage 

This search includes all books and ebooks available from the university libraries, including those in the collections below.

If you can’t find the book, you can request it via an inter-library loan.

University Library Services Introduction 0:00 | Search on a topic 0:44 | Search for books 1:26 | Search for eBooks 2:22 | Search for an eJournal 3:50 | Find a paper journal 5:16 | Refine by date 6:13 | Save a resource 7:22 |

Online Reading List

The material that your lecturers recommend you read is in your online reading list. You can access your list via the Reading List link in the library pages in Canvas, or go to and type in your module code (EG: MDL100) in the top-right of the page.

Your print books are located on the lower floor of the Murray Library Building

Key shelf numbers for Medical students:

Medicine: 610-619.999

Life sciences: 570-579.999

Journal articles: authoritative resources best for current, fast moving or specialised research and foreground questions.

How do I search for a journal article?

To search for journal articles on a specific subject you can:

If you’re looking for a specific journal article, type or paste the article title into Library Search. For more information on getting the full text of an article visit the Inter-Library Loans tab.

How can I ensure the articles I find are high quality?

A: Use the Refine Results tool on the left of the screen of the database you’re using to filter your search results. Here are some useful filters to experiment with:

Filters in databases are often very similar look for:

  • Resource type / articles / reviews  these filter will remove any books, newspaper or magazine articles and leave only Journal articles in the list, a review filter will also remove and primary research and leave only secondary review articles.
  • Peer-reviewed journals “peer review” is a quality-check undertaken before a piece of research is included in a journal. Two or more experts (or peers) in the same field as the research will review the research paper it to ensure the method, results and conclusions meet certain standards. The aim is to ensure the research published is of a high standard. Some databases call this tool “Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals”
  • Creation / Publication Date It is important that the research you use is up-to-date. Enter the date range you want and click Refine

(for specific help using databases see the quick-start guides in the Medical Databases tab)

How do I find the full text of an article?

Copy and paste the title of the article into the search box on the library homepage.

If it comes up in the first few results then you can access the paper, if not, you can request the article via an Inter-Library Loan. Find more details in the Inter-library loan tab.

How do I find a whole journal to browse through?

Go to the library homepage and choose “Journal Titles” enter the name of the journal you want to look at or choose a category to browse.

This Quick-Start guide shows you in more detail: How to find a journal 

How to search for e-journals in the NEW Library Search

(set to start at: 03:48)

Databases contain journal articles and often other types of information such as book chapters and conference papers. They usually have specialised search functions so you can search very specifically for your topic.

Links to Databases containing medical and health-related journal articles

Medicine and Biomedical: PubMed

Key for medical, biomedical and other, life-sciences related journal articles. Includes citations from MEDLINE (see below) and other life science journals. Some “Free-to access” Full Text. See * below

Medicine and Biomedical: MEDLINE

MEDLINE is a key bibliographic database for medical literature. 25 million+ references to journal articles in life sciences with a focus on biomedicine. Some “Free-to access” Full Text. See * below

Medicine, general health and health science: Health Research Premium Collection (HRPC)

A huge database of health-related journals, books, evidence-based resources, videos and audio and dissertations. Full Text.

Biosciences and Pharmacology: Embase

Database containing biomedical articles in peer reviewed journals covers drug and pharmaceutical research. Some full text. Don’t use the Payperview option see * below

Life, health and social sciences: ScienceDirect

A scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters covering a broad range of scientific, technical, and medical research. Includes social sciences and humanities. Full Text.

Sciences and social sciences: Web of Science

Very large database covering a wide range of science subjects and is particularly good for interdisciplinary searches. Offers citation searching. You can also register for EndNote Online via Web of Science. Some Full Text. See * below

Nursing and allied health: CINAHL Ultimate

A comprehensive source of journal articles covering a wide range of subjects aimed at nursing & allied health professionals, also useful for medicine. Full Text.

Psychology: PsycARTICLES

A good range of psychology-related journals where you can search for Psychology-related articles. Full text.

Sports and exercise science: SPORTDiscus

Database of literature for sports and sports medicine journals. Provides extensive coverage in the areas of fitness, health and sport studies. Full Text.


* You can find articles in LibrarySearch or request an Inter-library Loan (go to the inter-library loans tab for details on both)

The content in these databases focuses on synthesis, summary, guideline and review evidence to support clinical decision making

Summaries, guidelines and reviews

Summaries: Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS)

Summary of current evidence and practical guidance on best practice in respect of over 300 common and/or significant primary care presentations. Managed by NICE. Free-to access website.

Summaries: BMJ Best Practice

Available to all medical students via your HEI-NHS OpenAthens username and password. Follow this guide for how to login and create and account. More information on access in is the HEI-NHS page in Canvas. If you are on placement you will be able to access via your placement Trust’s Library.

Guidelines, Reviews and summaries (also includes selected primary research): Trip Medical Database

Trip is a clinical search engine to help you find high-quality research evidence to support practice and/or care. It also searches other content types including images, videos, patient information leaflets, educational courses and news. Free-to access website (pro features not available from the University, but are available from the NHS from Year 3. Ask your placement library for information about Trip Pro)

Guidelines (England and Wales): NICE Guidelines

Evidence-based recommendations developed by independent committees, including professionals and lay members, and consulted on by stakeholders. Free-to access website.

Guidelines (Scotland): SIGN Guidelines

SIGN produce evidence-based, collaboratively developed clinical guidelines. Free-to access website.

Gold standard systematic reviews: Cochrane

Contains independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making including systematic reviews abstracts and individual clinical trials. Includes Cochrane Library databases of systematic reviews and trials.  Help searching Cochrane library Free-to access website.


Why is evidence synthesis important? A video by Cochrane.

Ben Goldacre: Bad Science (TED talk)

Videos and quick-start guides

Tools containing drug information to inform on the prescription, mechanisms and structure of medicines. The resources have different strengths, read the notes for more details.

Drugs/Medicines information

Medicines Complete

Information on drugs and medicines used globally. Access via the Library. Provides access to:

  • Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference – gives characteristics of drugs and other pharmaceutical substances and their clinical uses
  • Stockley’s Drug Interactions – advice on managing drug interactions, to help you decide your best course of action
  • British National Formulary (BNF) – see below
  • BNF for Children (BNFC) – see below

To access Medicines Complete : choose the “Login via Shibboleth/ Open Athens” option, search for University of Sunderland and then sign in with your University username and password.

British National Formulary (BNF)

Up-to-date guidance on prescribing, dispensing and administering medicines. This is the key resource. BNF content is evidence graded to reflect the strength of evidence behind recommendations, increasing transparency to support healthcare professionals with clinical decision making. Free-to access website.

British National Formulary for Children (BNFC)

Up-to-date guidance on prescribing, dispensing and administering medicines for children. Essential information on the selection of safe and effective medicines for individual patients. Free-to access website.

DrugBank Online 

Combines drug (i.e. chemical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical) data with drug target (i.e. sequence, structure, and pathway) information. Free-to access website.

Electronic Medicines Compendium (EMC) 

Information about medicines licensed for use in the UK, includes the leaflet that is included in the pack with a medicine, and Summaries of Product Characteristics which tells healthcare professionals how to prescribe and use a medicine correctly. Free-to access website.

Here is a quick-start guide written by University Hospital Trust Southampton: Searching the eMC website | Medicines Learning Portal

A starter guide for resources to use to find high-quality answers to your PBL questions

In your PBL group, you’ll be presented with a real-world problem or scenario, and will work together to find a solution and answer clinical questions. You’ll have to use your skills and knowledge to piece together information from the different subject areas on the course, and research new information. You’ll then be able to draw upon your skills to figure out how this all fits together, enabling you to see the big picture of a patient’s case and form a solution.

Developing your research skills and identifying high-quality resources are key to this process.

PBL questions are often background questions

Background questions ask for general knowledge of disease processes or clinical contexts; they ask “who, what, when, why, where or how” about a single disease, drug, intervention or concept.

They often look like this:

  1. Where is the pituitary gland located, what are it’s functions?
  2. When do patients need to undergo a triple assessment?
  3. How is GORD diagnosed?
  4. What is the mechanism of action of paracetamol (acetaminophen )?

Using Google

It’s likely you will be pointed to a lot of good resources by Googling your keywords, but be vigilant to check-out the webpage organisations/authors.

The resources presented in this page are places to go so you can ensure you get the right facts.

For more information about using the web and Wikipedia, including using Google advanced search visit the “Using the web for research” tab

Selection of resources for PBL

Books – really useful sources to answer background questions, especially when it includes underpinning science, like question 1 above. They can also help with clinical questions like as 2 and 3 above.

ClinicalKey | AccessMedicine | LWW Health Library (eBooks, images and video)

These collections contain high-quality medicine and health titles. You can do a Google-type search within the full text of all titles within a collection at once.

Reading list for Phase 1  (Books and eBooks).

These are the titles your lecturers recommend. Many of these titles are available in eformat where you can use the search box to find information within that specific title. They are listed by subject area.

eBooks and books to borrow via Library Search (Books and eBooks)

Search for a subject, if you want to find eBooks only under “Refine your results” on the left select “Books” and then “Available online” . This is another great place to start looking for background information.

Clinical practice summaries and guidelinesfor finding out current best evidence for clinical decisions like questions 2 and 3 above

CKS (Clinical Knowledge Summaries)

Clinical summaries. Summary of current evidence and practical guidance on best practice in respect of over 300 common and/or significant primary care presentations. Provided by NICE.

Trip Medical Database

Trip is a clinical search engine to help you find high-quality research evidence to support practice and/or care. It includes summaries, guidelines and selected primary literature, giving you a wide range of high-quality resources to look at.

Drug information – for guidelines relating to the uses of medicines or their mechanisms, such as question 4

British National Formulary (BNF) and British National Formulary for Children (BNFC)

Drug information. Up-to-date guidance on prescribing, dispensing and administering medicines. Details of medicines with special reference to their uses, cautions, contra-indications, side-effects, doses, and relative costs.

DrugBank Online

Combines drug (i.e. chemical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical) data with drug target (i.e. sequence, structure, and pathway) information.

Patient videos – for a personal or patient perspective of health conditions being covered in your PBL case.


Videos of people sharing their experiences about what it’s like to have a health condition

Speaking Clinically (separate login needed to access this resource)

Videos of patients talking openly about their medical conditions Videos of patients talking openly about their medical conditions. An email will be sent to your university email address by the end of the first week of term.

The web is a good place to find reports, conference materials, fact sheets, newsletters and policy documents.

Be vigilant when using the websites, think about it’s Content, Reliability, Accuracy, Authority and Purpose.

Google Advanced Search

Make your web search more accurate by using an advanced search, like Google’s advanced search.
Some examples of how Google’s Advanced Search options can help you refine your search:
site or domain search box – you can search one site or limit your results to a domain, use: for UK universities, for UK charities, for NHS webpages, for UK government websites
file type drop-down box – finds documents in a particular format, such as PDF, Powerpoint, Excel or Word documents.

Google Scholar

We recommend using the Library search tool for searching journal articles as our refining tools are much more sophisticated than Google’s, but if you do want to use Google Scholar here’s a video on how to sync to the journal articles the University Libraries buys so the links show in your search results.


Wikipedia is useful for background reading and finding additional keywords that can help you find more reliable and cite-able resources in our library search tool.

Never cite Wikipedia in your references. Instead find the original article/source in the reference list, read the context check the source is trustworthy and then reference that in your assignment instead.

Watch to see how a Wikipedia prank ended up in a top peer-reviewed journal.

Have you found a reference for an article, but can’t locate the full text?

The video and quick-start guide below will show you how to access an article if we have it in the library collection… and if we don’t have it how to request the article through the library (aka an Inter-Library Loan). This is the easiest way as the system will fill in the request for you. However, if you’re having issues finding the item you need in library search you can also go directly to the Inter-Library Loans form and fill in the article details there.

Finding an article: and we DO have it – 0:00
Finding an article: and we DON’T have it – 1:16
NB: the “Resource sharing” option at 2:34 is now called ” Inter-Library Loans”
Checking which articles you have requested – 3:32

Referencing is a key skill in academia, citing ideas from authors you have read acknowledges their role in your understanding of the subject.

You’ll need to know which referencing style you need to use. This information is in your unit handbook. If you haven’t been given a specific reference style, the most important thing is to be consistent.

Top tip: make use of the Cite Them Right website

You can also use reference management software such as EndNote, Zotero or Mendeley. The University of Sunderland recommends Zotero, choose the last question below to find out more.

CiteThemRight logo

Where can I get help referencing?

The library subscribes to Cite Them Right which lists the main citing styles, such as Harvard, Vancouver and APA and gives you a step-by-step process showing how to cite. It also includes a ‘basics of referencing’ section.

cite them right homepage screenshot

Cite Them Right homepage screenshot


We also offer daily Study Support drop-ins online via Library Talk live chat every week day:
Monday 11:30am – 1pm
Tuesday 3:30 – 4:30pm
Wednesday 3:30 – 4:30pm
Thursday 3:30 – 4:30pm
Friday 11:30am – 1pm
You can access up to 10 minutes of guidance at each online drop-in session. These are perfect for short Study Skills queries or referencing help.

Where can I find books to help me with referencing?

The library has a range of books to help with referencing and avoiding plagiarism in both library buildings as well as eBooks for you to use online.  Search “referencing” in Library Search

four referencing book covers

How can I use database "cite" options to help me reference?

If you use a database such as Library Search, PubMed, MEDLINE or Google Scholar to find articles they will have an option to “cite” the article you’re looking at. To ensure your references are consistent, either use the same tool for each reference, or alter the reference to the same style each time.

How to use ClinicalKey to cite (1m 40 secs)

Video: How to use Databases to cite (1:11) skip to:

PubMed 0:00 | Medline 0:25 secs | Google Scholar 50secs

Where can I get more in depth 1-2-1 support for referencing and plagiarism?

You can book an appointment with a study skills advisor for advice on how to avoid plagiarism and referencing. The appointment is for up to an hour.

Where can I access details on using Zotero referencing management software?

Visit this blog post to find out more. Medicine students can also access the quick-start guides and how-to video playlist in Canvas library pages in the “How to” section.

Zotero download homepage screenshot

If you decide to use a reference management software tool you will still need to understand the mechanics of referencing to ensure you can spot any errors.

Ensure you check copyright / creative commons details when using images

Interactive Anatomical Images

Complete Anatomy

Detailed interactive 3D models of the human body (this link takes you to the download instructions for the app)

Medical-related images


Create professional-looking science figures using 1000s if pre-made icons and templates from more than 30 fields of life sciences. Sign up for free – no software to download. It is free for educational use with some caveats; check the website for details.

ClinicalKey Student

You can use images from all the books in ClinicalKey Student in your own presentations (not to be uploaded onto websites). You can also create PowerPoint slides in ClinicalKey Student this video shows how:

example of complete anatomy image

Complete Anatomy

Detailed interactive 3D models of the human body. Use for your own presentations only, not to be uploaded onto websites.

PHIL (Public Health Image Library)

Free, copyright cleared, images.

Servier Medical Art (SMart)

3000+ free medical images that you can use to illustrate your publications and Powerpoint presentations. All images are Creative Commons, but do check for details.

Wellcome images

Contains thousands of freely licensed digital books, artworks, photos and images of historical library materials and museum objects. To limit to images select the “Images” radio button.

TV, Film and Video

Medicine: Geeky Medics

Free medical student revision resources, including OSCE guides, clinical skills videos, clinical cases and quizzes (MCQs).

Patient experience: HealthTalk

Videos of people sharing their experiences about what it’s like to have a health condition

Patient experience: Speaking Clinically (separate login needed too access this resource)

Videos of patients talking openly about their medical conditions Videos of patients talking openly about their medical conditions. An email will be sent to your university email address by the end of the first week of term.

General: Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

Person wearing headphones watching video content on a laptop

BoB homepage

On-demand TV & Radio streaming service containing over 2 million broadcasts from over 65 free-to-air channels including BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and more.  You can find a complete list of channels here.

Log in with your university ID and password, and enter your email address and name (one time only) to create an account within BoB. Due to licensing restrictions, BoB can only be used in the United Kingdom.


Additional resources that students researching for their Masters thesis, may find helpful

Subject Guides Menu page

If your research interconnects with other subjects, try the subject guides for those subjects too

Newspapers can be useful as both primary and secondary sources of information.

As well as providing commentary on events, newspaper articles can provide insight on how the public viewed an event or incident at the time.

Global NewsStream

Gives access to many contemporary news sources from around the world – find out more on this blog post.

Grey Literature

Grey literature are print and electronic documents produced by organisations such as governments, academics, business and industry. This blog points to some places to look for this type of material: Finding Grey Literature – University of Sunderland Library Blog

PhD theses can be useful sources of specialised information not published elsewhere.

Most universities have a Repository, University of Sunderland’s repository is called SURE. Find theses from other universities via EThOS (UK) or PQDT Open (Worldwide).

SURE (Sunderland Repository)

Search research produced by University of Sunderland staff.

EThOS (e-theses online service)

Service from the British Library, EThOS is the UK’s national thesis service with approximately 400,000 records relating to theses awarded by over 120 institutions. Around 160,000 of these also provide access to the full text.


PQDT Open provides the full text of open access dissertations and theses free of charge where the author has opted to publish as open access. This includes international Universities.

Journal Table of Contents

These are Current Awareness Services where you can discover the newest papers as soon as they have been published online.

Journal TOCs

Sign Up for free to search in your chosen journals and, optionally, receive email alerts when new issues are published in the journals you follow.