Using the internet definitely makes me a better doctor, and it also has dramatically improved my quality of life in China. So here’s my list of top websites, both medical and non-medical (i.e. lifestyle):
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database — This website is, by far, still the best source of evidence-based and unbiased data on every herb, supplement and vitamin you would ever use. There’s a small fee for monthly use, but they also have a huge list of freely available and incredibly useful articles on the front page: look for “Clinical Management Series”
- Consumerlab — Don’t know which brand of vitamins to buy? Fret no longer; the people at Consumerlab do their own independent testing of all the major brands. Their website is full of useful tidbits on all supplements and vitamins. Again, there’s a fee but it’s worth it for anyone interested in supplements.
- iHerb — I just discovered this website a month ago and already love it. Think of it as the Amazon.com of supplements. Many expats use this website to order at a very good deal — and they are delivered within 2 weeks from the US at extremely reasonable shipping fees. No more Costco runs and asking visiting friends to load up! Use coupon code ONU242 at checkout to get $5 off your first purchase.
- Chinadialogue — This is an outstanding, bilingual collection of well-written and researched articles on China’s many public health issues of the environment.
- Asia Healthcare Blog — This group is supersmart and they write extremely useful and thoughtful articles on all aspects of healthcare in China.
- Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety — This website is still my most useful bilingual source of food safety information. Honestly, I wish by now there would be a mainland equivalent!
- US Embassy Beijingair feed — Yes, we still must give thanks to the original source.
- UpToDate — Pricy, but worth every penny for tens of thousands of doctors all over the world. By far, the most highly regarded evidence-based source of information for all physicians.
- Tuangou — you do use tuangou, yes? This is an absolute must for any laowai with a modicum of Chinese reading ability. Tuangou simply means “group buying” and refers to the dozens of Groupon-style websites that offer amazing deals on everything you can think of. My wife and I have bought hundreds of items on tuan800, meituan, gaopeng and many other sites and literally save tens of thousands of RMB every year on restaurants, movies, spas, houseware — anything.
- Weibo — I now love writing on my Weibo account more than on this blog! Weibo has really taken off in China, and it’s really fun to share my health information with 300 million Chinese people.
- Amazon.cn — I finally found a shopping website online in China that didn’t terrify me. Amazon has the same layout and easy payment system as in the US, and while their selection isn’t huge, it’s a lot more dependably authentic than on Taobao.
- Consumersearch — this is still my #1 website to research any consumer product, including air purifiers, water filters — anything.
That’s my list; what are your favorites?
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