How to Use WebMD

There are so many different things to see and do on WebMD that it's difficult for us to list them all!  Here is a brief collection of things — some general, some specific — that you can do on WebMD.  We'll be going over many of them in our later tutorials.

Browse information on common medical conditions

WebMD's Health A-Z section lets you visit information portals for common medical conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, and various pain problems, so you can look for something specific on whatever you have to deal with.  You can also go directly to information about conditions that are being talked about a lot right now on WebMD, or within the wider medical community.

Get the facts about common drugs, prescription or otherwise

In the Drugs and Supplements section, you can search for information about common drugs, vitamins, and supplements, such as medicinal ingredients, possible side effects, interactions with other drugs you might be taking, and so on.  You can also do things like see what drugs get misused the most, and identify what kind of drug a pill is by its shape, colour, and stamp.

Learn to live a healthier life, both for yourself and your family

The Healthy Living section contains information and advice on how to eat right, keep yourself active, stay beautiful, and have a healthy sex life.  It also contains health advice based on your gender or age. 

The Family and Pregnancy section contains advice for how to live while you're pregnant (or your partner is pregnant), how to take care of your children at any stage of their lives, and even how to keep your pets healthy!  (See our WebMD for Pets article for more information.

Join a community and support others who share your conditions

Sign up for WebMD and get on the WebMD Communities section.  There, you can join groups of WebMD users who are dealing with the same health issues that you are, as well as people who are experts in those issues.  In You can hold discussions about symptoms and treatments, share tips for coping with your condition, and even point people to places where they can get further help.

As an example, here is the page for the Heart Disease Community:

Check for possible conditions based on your symptoms

If you think you're coming down with something, try the WebMD Symptom Checker.  This handy tool allows you to input your age range, gender, where the symptoms are on your body, and what the symptoms are.  It will then spit out a list of the most likely conditions, which you can click on to get more information about.  Be sure to discuss your findings with your doctor, though!

We have a WebMD Symptom Checker tutorial, in case you need help using it.

Find a doctor, hospital, or pharmacy in your area

If you're out of town — or new in town — and need to find a place to cater to your medical needs, WebMD can help you find it.  Search their Physician Directory to find a doctor based on their distance from you, what they specialize in, how experienced they are, what insurance they accept, and more.  You can also search the Hospital Directory or Pharmacy Directory for a facility that's staffed with certain specialists, is open when you're available, and so on.

Our WebMD Search tutorial will show you how to use these tools.

Make sure you're covered with information about health insurance

Do you have questions about health insurance, especially in the wake of the new Affordable Care Act?  WebMD can help with that, too!  The WebMD Health Care Reform section lets you know about what health insurance is, what's changing about it, what it costs, and how to find the plan that's right for you.

Discuss today's health issues with the experts

Want to know what health professionals are really thinking about the latest health topics?  The WebMD Second Opinion section lets doctors and other health experts give their take on popular issues affecting people's health today.  If you sign up to WebMD, you can even add your voice to the discussion, too!

Ask and you shall receive… an answer

Do you have a specific question about your health, or how you've been feeling lately?  Head over to the WebMD Answers section.  If you sign up for WebMD, you can post a question, and have it answered by WebMD's other users, or even one of WebMD's on-staff health experts.  You can even provide answers to other people's questions, should you have insights into their troubles.