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Medical Images: Selected Resources

A Guide to Selected Web Sites

Most of the sites listed here provide free access to medical images for educational use.

Please refer to the copyright statements for a site before using any images.

Search Engines to find images and videos

  • Google Image Search
  • Blinkx
  • Alltheweb
  • Picsearch
  • Open Video Project
  • Yale Image Finder
    Search the actual image content of images and figures from PubMed Central. Use the advanced search option to select for searching in any combination of the figure caption, title, abstract, or full-text.
  • Yottalook
    Yotta is a suite of search engines designed to search the web for radiological resources. Yottalook is the image search resource that retrieves radiological images from the caption of the figure from online peer-reviewed journal articles, along with the links to the article itself. Search results can be limited to gender, age, free-text, and type of image.
  • YouTube

A Guide to Databases with Images, Sound, and other Multimedia search options

The UB Libraries have health sciences databases containing journal articles and research papers, but did you know you can also search specifically for images in many of them?

Below is a list of databases with image search capabilities and how to access those images.

  • CDC - Public Health Image Library (PHIL)
  • Factiva - Enter your search term(s) into the free text search box. On the search results page, click on "Pictures" at the top of the page to limit to those articles matching your search term that also contains images.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library - In Advanced Search, check the "document contains images" box under limit results.
  • The Merck Manual Consumer Version  and The Merck Manual Professional Version- Enter a search term. After the results load, locate infographics and/or videos,realted to your search term by checking the appropriate boxes in the left-hand column. In addition, chose the "related image" link in the upper right-hand side of the search results. Searching for the same term in both the Consumer and the Professional versions will yield different image and multimedia results.
  • PubMed - Run a search in the basic search box at PubMed's home page. After the search results are displayed, scroll until you locate in the right side "Discovery Column" the "PMC Images Search" section. Four images will be shown by default. Click on the "see more" link to recover all images. Not all PubMed searches will yield the PMC Images feature. The PMC Images Search requires that Boolean operators (AND/OR/NOT) must NOT be present from the search string ("POLB mouse" will retrieve images but "POLB AND mouse" will not), that a minimum of250 articles are retrieved minimum, and that there are at least four images found. For more details, see the National Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin article.
  • R2LIBRARY -To search for images, type your search term in the search box. When the results are displayed, if any images are within the results, an “Images” hyperlink will appear in the left hand navigation box. This will filter the search results to only display those with an associated image.
  • Science Direct-Go to "Advanced Search" then "Images" tab.

Directory Sites

  • Health on the Net Media Gallery
    HONmedia is an unique repository of over 6800 medical images and videos, pertaining to 1700 topics and themes. This database has been created manually by HON (Health on the Net Foundation) and new image links are constantly being added from the Web. HON encourages users to make their own image links available via the "Submit an image" service.
  • Martindale's Health Sciences Guide
    Contains 4,580 database atlases & image databases and 1,000's of movies.
  • Medical Animation Library
    From the University of Pennsylvania Health System, a wide variety of short animated segments.
  • MedPix: Medical Images Database
    A database of over 29,000 images from more than 7,000 real life cases. Included are peer-reviewed teaching files, an imaging atlas, and decision support tools. The target audience includes physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, medical students, graduate nursing students, and other post-graduate trainees.

General Collections

  • Health Education Assests Library
    A digital library that provides freely accessible digital teaching materials of the highest quality that meet the needs of today's health sciences educators and learners. A component of the National Sciences Digital Library.
  • IME Video Library - University of Wisconsin-Madison
    A collection of health science presentations available to students, faculty, community preceptors, public health organizations, and health consumers. Major educational presentations will be captured (recorded digitally) and placed on this site along with links of interest to the topics discussed. Registration is required to view videos.
  • iTunes U
    Go to the Health and Medicine area.
  • Medline Plus - Interactive Health Tutorials
    For patient education purposes. Using animated graphics each tutorial explains a procedure or condition in easy-to-read language. You can also listen to the tutorial.
  • NIH VideoCasting and Podcasting
    The Center for Information Technology (CIT) makes special National Institutes of Health events, seminars, and lectures available to viewers on the NIH network and the Internet from the VideoCast web site.
  • New England Journal of Medicine Online Videos
    Videos in Clinical Medicine published on the NEJM website.
  • Open Vault
    From WGBH, historically important content produced by the public television and radio station WGBH. The ever-expanding site contains video, audio, images, searchable transcripts, and resource management tools, all of which are available for individual and classroom learning.
  • Stanford Health Library Online Video Collection
    From Stanford University, these videos are presented as a public service by the Health Library. Most titles are about 30-60 minutes long and address common health topics.
  • Yale PubMed Central Figure Finder
    Retreive figures (data images) from all of the 34,000 Open Access PubMed Central's journals. The search engine retrieves images based upon text within legends and captions to the figures. Read about how it does this by copy/pasting the following article ID into the search box at PubMed: 18614584.
  • WebMIRS
    The Web-based Medical Information Retrieval System (WebMIRS) is a research tool that facilitates the dissemination of multimedia biomedical database information across the Internet. It is implemented as a Java application and allows database access to text and associated images. Using the free Java Web Start technology from Sun Microsystems, WebMIRS can either be executed using a standard Web browser, or from the user's PC directly. WebMIRS seeks to address a number of critical issues surrounding biomedical data such as use of multimedia, wide-area access, efficient data transmission, and capability to export results to other software applications. In its initial implementation, it is based on data from the multi-year NHANES II and NHANES III surveys (National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys) collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. Subsequent versions will expand the number of data repositories to which access is provided. Some of the fields for which WebMIRS is potentially relevant include: epidemiology, multimedia databases, medical imaging, radiology, bioinformatics, vertebral morphometry, and computerized x-ray image understanding and analysis. Examples of biomedical research areas that may potentially benefit from the use of WebMIRS data include all of those targeted by the NHANES II and NHANES III surveys, such as: osteoarthritis, cardiovascular conditions, kidney and bladder disease, tobacco use, and exposure to pesticides (for NHANES II); and diabetes, high blood pressure/cholesterol, gallbladder disease, musculoskeletal conditions, respiratory and allergy conditions, diet, vision and hearing, and dental care (for NHANES III).
  • Yale University School of Medicine. Pictures. YSM Medical Images
    The Yale Medical Image Teaching Collection is provided pro bono to the wider academic medical community. These images may be used for nonprofit teaching purposes so long as their source is credited. Copyright of these images is retained by Yale School of Medicine and may be used only for academic presentation and teaching. Any usage in for-profit purposes is not allowed.


  • Anatomy Atlases
    A digital library of anatomy information.
  • American Medical Association Atlas of the Human Body
    Simple but effective labeled illustrations of the circulatory system, brain, muscles, respiratory system and more. Each diagram contains a brief description.
  • AnatQuest: Anatomic Images Online
    The U.S. National Library of Medicine's Visible Human Project has produced high resolution (4096 x 2048 x 24 bits) cryosectional color images of human anatomy. The Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, an R&D division of the NLM, through its Communications Engineering Branch, has created a database for this image dataset as well as for 3D rendered images of anatomic objects created from cryosectional images (cross-sections or slices).
  • Digital Anatomist Project
    The goal of this site is to represent anatomy in a comprehensive and consistent way, which should meet the needs of all biomedical applications that require anatomical knowledge. Moreover, a logical and consistent representation of anatomy should facilitate the modeling of all biomedical information, including the patient record. They have pursued two parallel tracks for representing anatomical information: 1. The generation of graphical models derived from cadaver and clinical imaging data; and 2. Symbolic modeling of the structures and relationships that constitute the human body.
  • Dream Anatomy
    From the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, an online exhibit of archival anatomical images.
  • eSkeletons Project
    The eSkeletons Project website is devoted to the study of human and primate comparative anatomy. It offers a unique set of digitized versions of skeletons in 2-D and 3-D in full color, animations, and much supplemental information.
  • Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body
    The edition of Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body features 1,247 vibrant engravings—many in color—from the classic 1918 publication, as well as a subject index with 13,000 entries ranging from the Antrum of Highmore to the Zonule of Zinn.
  • Historical Anatomies on the Web
    A number of other research institutions have placed images from historical anatomical atlases on the World Wide Web.
  • Instant Anatomy
    A website with illustrations of the Human Body to aid the learning of Human Anatomy with diagrams, podcasts and revision questions.
  • LUMEN Cross-Section Tutorial
    From Loyola University Medical Center. Images from the Visible Human Project -NLM) are used under a
    license agreement to Dr. John A. McNulty. Also try the Learn 'Em page - quiz yourself and label the nerves, bones, arteries, dermatones and muscles.
  • Merck Medicus Image and Media Library
    Create your own custom anatomical slides using this 3-dimensional computer-generated body. The eMedTool™ is a biovisual resource that was created using an actual cadaver.
  • The Visible Human Project
    The Visible Human Project ® is an outgrowth of the NLM's 1986 Long-Range Plan. It is the creation of complete, anatomically detailed, three-dimensional representations of the normal male and female human bodies. Acquisition of transverse CT, MR and cryosection images of representative male and female cadavers has been completed. The male was sectioned at one millimeter intervals, the female at one-third of a millimeter intervals.
  • Web Anatomy
    Test your anatomy knowledge with this University of Minnesota anatomy quiz bank.


  • Simulation Portfolio
    From the University of Florida Health Science Center Libraries. Several free simulations and tutorials to work through.


  • National Cancer Institute. Visuals Online
    This NCI Visuals Online database contains images from the collections of the Communication Services Branch and Mass Media Office, components of the Office of Communications, National Cancer Institute. Contents include general biomedical and science-related images, cancer-specific scientific and patient care-related images, and portraits of directors and staff of the National Cancer Institute. All images are in the public domain and may be used, linked, or reproduced without permission. If an image is used, credit should be given to the listed source and/or author.
  • Inside Cancer - A Multimedia Guide to Cancer Biology
    From the Dolan DNA Learning Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  • Understanding Cancer
    From the National Cancer Institute a collection of graphic-rich tutorials for educational use by life science teachers, medical professionals, and the interested public


  • Cardio-thoracic Imaging, Yale University, Center for Advanced Instructional Media
  • ECG Learning Center
    A large collection of 6- and 12- lead ECG image strips that, in the words of the developers, range from the "sublime to the ridiculous, from simplicity to complexity, from boring to fascinating". Each ECG comes with an interpretation and many strips have additonal information. Created under a Creative Commons license, users are free to distribute and share the resources.
  • Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Hospital Multimedia Room
  • The 6 Second ECG Stimulator
    Learn to dentify the 27 most common ECG rhythms, then challenge yourself to Six Second ECG Game.


  • Atlas of Dermatology
    From Loyola University a collection of varied dermatologic images.
  • DermAtlas
    Dermatology image atlas from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • DermIS
    Dermatology Information System from the Universities of Heidelberg and Erlangen. Locate images by name of disease or anatomical location.
  • Dermatopathology from DermNet NZ
    Histology image database of skin diseases from New Zealand's DermNet resource.


  • Catalog of Clinical Images
      Photograph collection of physical examinations findings from the School of Medicine at the University of San Diego, California. Use the Browse link at the top of the resource to locate photographic images by anatomic locations.
  • Educational Clinical Images
    Browse photographs collected by the staff of the Department of Emergency Services at the San Francisco General Hospital. Although free for educational use, you must receive permission to publish them. Images are searchable by system. Clicking on the "treament" icon will retrieve information regarding differental diagnosis, emergency treatment and appropriate follow-up.


  • Embryo Images Normal and Abnormal Mammalian Development
    Embryo Images Normal and Abnormal Mammalian Development is a tutorial that uses scanning electron micrographs (SEMs) as the primary resource to teach mammalian embryology. Because early human embryos are not readily available and because embryogenesis is very similar across mammalian species, the majority of micrographs that are utilized in this tutorial are of mouse embryos. The remainder are human.
  • The Multi-Dimensional Human Embryo
    The Multi-Dimensional Human Embryo is a collaboration funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to produce and make available over the internet a three-dimensional image reference of the Human Embryo based on magnetic resonance imaging. The collection of images is intended to serve students, researchers, clinicians, and the general public interested in studying and teaching human development.



  • DNA From the Beginning
    An animated primer on the basics of DNA, genes, and heredity. Organized around key concepts, the science behind each concept is explained by: animation, image gallery, video interviews, problem, biographies, and links. From the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
  • Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms
    Created by the National Institute for Human Genome Research (NHGRI) at NIH, this glossary combines images and 3D animations with genetic definitions. Listen or read the definitions shared by scientific leaders in their respective fields.
  • Online Genetics Education Kit
    NHGRI-created series of 3D animated videos that can be downloaded or viewed individually at YouTube. Kit contains videos on sequencing genomes, bioinformatics, understanding DNA, RNA and protein, and more.


  • The American Society of Hematology (ASH)
    The American Society of Hematology (ASH) Image Bank is intended to serve as a comprehensive reference and teaching tool presented in a digital, case-based format that allows both the images and text to be searched, cross-referenced, and hyper-linked.


  • The JayDoc HistoWeb
    The HistoWeb is a subset of the larger collection of medical educational resources from the University of Kansas Medical Center.
  • LUMEN - Histology
    The Loyola University Medical Education Network's histology page.
  • - Histology section
    A collection of histology and histology-related sites, most from major universities.
  • Visual Histology
    Free online edition of Moran & Rowley Histology Text Atlas.

History of Medicine

  • Images from the History of Medicine
    This system provides access to the nearly 60,000 images in the prints and photograph collection of the History of Medicine Division (HMD) of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). The collection includes portraits, pictures of institutions, caricatures, genre scenes, and graphic art in a variety of media, illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine.
  • Wellcome Images. 2000 Years of Human Culture
    Unique, searchable collection covering the history of medicine and human culture from the distinguished Wellcome Trust.


  • The Human Brain Atlas
    MRI sections through a living human brain as well as corresponding sections stained for cell bodies or for nerve fibers.
    Streaming videos on how to perform neurologic exams.
  • The Whole Brain Atlas
    This is an information resource for central nervous system imaging which integrates clinical information with magnetic resonance (MR), x-ray computed tomography (CT), and nuclear medicine images. The Atlas project is made possible in part by the Departments of Radiology and Neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School , the Countway Library of Medicine, and the American Academy of Neurology


  • Image Library
    This site is devoted entirely to providing access to images of interest to women's health. In addition to providing you with access to images we also point to other women's health related images on the Internet. Because of the graphic nature of the material some individuals may prefer not to view these images.They are provided for educational purposes only.




  • Parasite Image Library
    From this page you can directly access all images contained in the DPDx Web site.  Parasites and parasitic diseases are listed alphabetically and are cross-referenced.


  • The Internet Pathology Laboratory for Medical Education
    From Florida State University College of Medicine, this popular web resource includes over 1900 images along with text, tutorials, laboratory exercises, and examination items for self-assessment that demonstrate gross and microscopic pathologic findings associated with human disease conditions.
  • PathoPic
    A German image database from Pathorama.

Public Health

  • Center for Public Health Preparedness, University at Albany School of Public Health
    The Centers for Public Health Preparedness Resource Center, is a free online repository of terrorism and emergency response training and educational resources developed by the CDC-funded Centers for Public Health Preparedness. The resources address a wide-array of public health and emergency response topic areas and are presented in various formats including CD-ROM, web cast, exercise/drill/tabletop manuals, comprehensive course outlines and much more. This information is intended for public health professionals and other community partners both in the field and in the classroom.
  • Public Health Image Library
    Much of the information critical to the communication of public health messages is pictorial rather than text-based. Created by a Working Group at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PHIL offers an organized, universal electronic gateway to CDC's pictures. We welcome public health professionals, the media, laboratory scientists, educators, and the worldwide public to use this material for reference, teaching, presentation, and public health messages. The content is organized into hierarchical categories of people, places, and science, and is presented as single images, image sets, and multimedia files.


  • OR-Live
    Watch surgery live or browse the archives of past procedures.
  • Medline Plus. Videos of Surgical Procedures
    This page provides links to prerecorded webcasts of surgical procedures. These are actual operations performed at medical centers in the United States since January 2004.


  • The Big Picture Book of Viruses
    The Big Picture Book of Viruses is intended to serve as both a catalog of virus pictures on the Internet and as an educational resource to those seeking more information about viruses.