Best Online Research Platforms for Medical Students

The abundance of research materials available on the internet can be challenging to sort through. When transitioning from medical school to residency, it is important for students to increase their knowledge base and expand their medical library’s resources. There are many uncommon topics from which medical student should be aware of like circumcision, PRP treatment, sacral dimple etc. While having access to the university library or the local medical library should be prioritized, online sources are an excellent complement. For those who seek additional platforms for medical research, here are the top online resources that should be explored.


Pluralsight is a learning platform that was developed to aid career professionals place their careers on the path of success. It has many medical courses including dermatology, anesthesia, pathology, physiology and more. These courses are created by professionals in the healthcare field who understand what students need to succeed in their residency programs. Learning materials are available at no additional cost, however there are times when licensing restrictions require the user to gain access by purchasing a subscription.

medical students platforms


Scribd is one of the most popular e-book readers in the world. Users can access an enormous library of materials including medical textbooks and journal articles, as well as other resources. To evaluate their materials, Scribd has a rating system. This consists of stars and numerical scores that users can use to determine the quality of a textbook or article before they spend time reading it.


While many students use Anki for studying information and reinforcing lessons learned in medical school, it can also be used as an online resource for medical research. When creating cards to study, users are able to use many reference materials including journal articles, textbooks and more. This also includes pictures, audio files, video that can be found on the internet for free.


The National Institutes of Health (or NIH) is a United States government agency under the Department of Health and Human Services that is responsible for biomedical and health-related research. The NIH supports the worldwide biomedical research community, and provides the necessary funding to explore new treatments for diseases and enhance therapies by returning findings to the public. The results of these studies are published on PubMed Central, which is accessible to everyone; this essentially makes it an open access journal.


UpToDate is an electronic database for patients and healthcare professionals that provides information on diseases, conditions, drugs, treatments, and tests. Physicians often utilize the UpToDate database to assist with patient care. The search function is easy to use, through both text fields or drop-down menus. When searching through the topic list, users will find numerous subheadings which are not overwhelming. This allows for easy navigation to the topic that they desire.

The resource is constantly being updated to include new medical information, ensuring that users have access to the most current, widely accepted practices in medicine.


Mednet is an online platform which connects medical professionals to researchers. Whenever a researcher has a question regarding their project, they are able to post it on MedNet and receive multiple responses from various health care professionals. The questions asked will be based on the user’s specific topic, making sure that the information being discussed is targeted towards what the individual needs. The platform itself is easy to navigate, and the responses from health care professionals are usually thorough.


SonoSpot is a database that allows users to find different clinical trials that are currently in process in the United States. This free-to-use service lists all of the important information about each trial, including contact information for the researcher, the location of the trial, and what patients will be able to receive.


Snapshot is an online search tool that provides users with access to over 40 million medical articles from journals all over the world. It contains information on everything from cardiovascular medicine to gastroenterology, allowing students to conveniently search for topics that they need. There is also a section which includes video lectures on various medical topics, as well as articles that provide practice questions for USMLE Step 1 and COMLEX Level 1 exams.


Embase contains over 28 million articles from over 8,000 different international biomedical journals. It only allows users to access abstracts of these articles, but users can choose to purchase the article in order to gain full access. Embase also includes drug information, which allows medical professionals to find out about both prescription and non-prescription drugs that are available on the market today.


The Medical Library of Portale is an online resource for anyone who is interested in the history of medicine. It contains a searchable collection of over 18,000 articles from many different journals ranging from 1993 to present day. The articles range from various topics such as dentistry, epidemiology, and infectious diseases. The MagPortal website is easy to navigate and uses user-friendly tools.


3D4Medical is an online platform that supplies images which are medically related. These images include everything from anatomical images to patient examinations. This tool allows medical students and professionals to learn more about human anatomy when they are unable to go into the field, or in between patients.

Closing thoughts:

Each online research platform listed contains articles which are clearly written and easy to understand. The best thing about each of these resources is that they are all free to use by anyone who has internet access, making them accessible for students in a variety of different learning environments.

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