Finding clinical answers

Learn how to quickly and easily find answers to your clinical questions using UpToDate. In this section, learn how to conduct a search and navigate a topic.

  • Conduct A Search
  • Navigate A Topic

Conduct a search

Conducting a search in UpToDate is fast and easy. Searches can be conducted from the main search page or in the search bar above the blue clinical toolbar on the search results page or topic review pages.

Conduct a search
video screen - Conducting a Search
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To facilitate getting to answers quickly, UpToDate is designed with the busy clinician in mind. Search common medical abbreviations, graphics, use filters and more.   
Your language search
video screen - Search in 9 Languages
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UpToDate offers users the ability to search in any of 16 languages.

Additional information

  • How to conduct a search

    Search in UpToDate by disease, symptom, lab abnormality, procedure, or drug. UpToDate begins suggesting search terms after one character. It also accepts commonly used medical abbreviations. Click the search button, hit enter on your keyboard, or select the suggested search term to go to the search results page.

    UpToDate conducting a search

    Topics will be displayed by relevance to the search criteria. Search results also contain links to the most commonly referenced sections and graphics within a topic. Filter a search in the top navigation by selecting All, Adult, Pediatric, Patient, or Graphics. Hover over a topic and select the outline icon on the right hand side to expand the Topic Outline, where you can jump directly to a section within a topic. 

    UpToDate shoulder pain search results

  • How to search in your own language

    UpToDate offers users the ability to search in up to 16 languages.  Once logged in, language preferences can be changed by clicking the drop down under your username and selecting language. 

    search in your own language search bar

    search in your own language box with choices

    Select the language of choice and click Submit.  The navigation bar and search box are now displayed in the preferred language. 

    search in your own language spanish search bar

    Searches can also be conducted in the preferred language.  Upon entering the search item, suggested search terms will be displayed in the selected language.  Note that the content in UpToDate will remain in English.

    search in your own language spanish auto results

Downloads and related links

  • How do I view my recent searches and topics? View Article
  • What are the links below the topic titles on the search results page? View Article

Navigate a topic

There are more than 12,300 clinical topics across 25 specialties within UpToDate. UpToDate authors and editors synthesize the available clinical evidence and best clinical practices to help you provide high-quality care to your patients and high standards of research.

Our rigorous editorial process is a key reason why UpToDate is the world’s most trusted clinical decision support reference. Our process isn’t just a goal or theoretical plan; it’s a commitment that is consistently followed — without compromise.

Every day, our team of clinician authors, editors, and peer reviewers collaborate to produce evidence-based content and recommendations in a succinct, searchable format that can be quickly and easily accessed at the point of care.

Each topic has an expert physician author and at least two physician reviewers in the specialty. This group performs a comprehensive review of the literature and agree on clear recommendations for treatment and screening in order to help clinicians make the best care decisions possible.

Full-text articles
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All content within UpToDate is fully referenced. References can be found throughout the content and a complete list is available at the bottom of the topic.
Grade recommendation
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UpToDate has more than 9,700 Graded Recommendations.
UpToDate authors
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The main differentiator between UpToDate and other clinical decision support resources is our team of world-renowned physician authors, editors, and peer reviewers.
Send topic feedback
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The ‘feedback’ button enables users to submit comments or questions directly to our editorial team.

Additional information

  • Topic outline

    The Topic Outline on the left provides a quick and easily accessible menu of all the information available within the topic review. Once within a topic review, toggle the view to hide the Topic Outline on the left, or to make the Topic Outline visible. 

    topic outline toggle

    Clicking on a topic section or subsection will jump directly to the section within the topic.

    navigate the topic outline

    The Summary and Recommendations section provides a summary of the topic and any treatment and screening recommendations. This section is available at the top and bottom of the Topic Outline.

    The Topic Outline also provides quick access to related Society Guideline Links, Information for Patients, Graphics, and Related Topics that are referenced throughout the topic.

  • Graded recommendations

    Currently there are more than 9,700 graded recommendations in UpToDate. UpToDate recommendations are based on a synthesis of evidence, including that obtained from clinical trials as well as clinical experience. The recommendations are categorized based on the GRADE system, which communicates the strength of the recommendation (strong or weak), and the quality of the evidence on which it is based (high, medium, or low). 

    Graded recommendations are found throughout a topic, with the grade hyperlinked for more information.

    navigate graded recommendations

    navigate grade 2c recommendations

  • Topic authors and editors

    At UpToDate, more than 7,400 authors and editors apply their deep domain expertise to critically evaluate the literature and produce original content that culminates with clear guidance for evaluation and recommendations for treatment and screening.

    At the top of each topic review, note the authors and editors responsible for the content. Select the name of the authors or editors to review their credentials. All authors are hand-selected because they are considered experts in their fields.

    navigate authors section

    Authors and editors are clearly identified at the top of every clinical topic, along with the publication and literature review dates and detailed references with links. The contributors’ affiliations and peer reviewers’ information is also available.

    Scroll to the bottom of the list of authors to view the full peer review board for a specialty and contributor disclosures.

    navigate authors peer reviewers

  • Literature reviews and content updates

    Content within UpToDate is continually updated based on the latest evidence and clinical expertise of our authors and editors. Our editors continually monitor over 420 medical journals, society guidelines, clinical databases and clinical trials for important new medical findings. Topics within UpToDate are revised whenever important new information is published.

    UpToDate is transparent about when a change does take place. Directly below the author’s name is the date the literature was last reviewed and the date the topic was last updated. If there was nothing of significance discovered when reviewing the literature, the last updated date will not experience a change.

    navigate continuous updates section

  • Topic references

    All content within UpToDate is fully-referenced. References can be found throughout the content. A complete list of references can be found at the bottom of the topic review. Click on the reference number to access the Medline abstract. Within the Medline abstract, a direct link to PubMed is available at the top of the abstract.

    navigate references section

  • Drug topics

    UpToDate topics deliver real-world evidence-based insights and recommendations to support you when making appropriate drug decisions for your patients. UpToDate contains a full drug database of more than 7,300 unique adult, pediatric, and international drug entries. Drug names are hyperlinked throughout the topic, linking to clear, concise drug monographs, making it easy to apply the drug information to the decision at hand. Drug names are also searchable from the “Find in Topic” search bar in the top right navigation.

    navigate drug database section

    Learn more about drug monographs in UpToDate.

  • Graphics and calculators

    UpToDate contains more than 37,000 graphics, tables, algorithms, graphs, videos, and more than 210 calculators. Graphics and Calculators are hyperlinked throughout the topic and listed within the topic outline. You can also find all of the relevant graphics in any topic by clicking "Graphics" on the top left, above the topic outline. Learn more about Graphics and Calculators.

    navigate graphs and calculators

    navigate graphics topic outline

  • Print, share, bookmark, and rate topics

    Topic Tools can be found in the top right hand corner of a topic.

    Find specific keywords within the topic by typing the term in the top right-hand search bar.

    navigate topic tools search bar

    When earning CME/CE/CPD from UpToDate, after researching a topic, a blue check mark will appear in the top right, allowing for in-topic CME reflection. Learn more about in-topic CME reflection.

    navigate CME icon

    To reference topics in the future, and to share topics with colleagues, topics can be printed, shared and bookmarked.

    navigate share and bookmark topics

    To adjust the size of the topic text for easier readability, use the AA icon.

    navigate change size of topic text

    The team at UpToDate takes user feedback very seriously to help continuously improve the user experience. On the right-hand edge of each UpToDate topic is a blue Topic Feedback button. Submit the form with questions or comments, which will then go directly to the editors with any questions or comments related to the topic being researched. Topic editors will respond directly to an inquiry or feedback.

    navigate topic feedback button

    A five-star rating system is also available within UpToDate topics in the lower left hand side, below the topic outline. Select the rating (1 star to five stars) of the topic by clicking on the number of stars. Depending on the rating, another prompt will appear for additional feedback.

    navigate rating system

Downloads and related links

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