Skip to Main Content

Database Search Tips

This guide will help get you started in some of our most popular databases! Happy searching! Let us know if we can help.


VisualDx is a clinical point-of-care tool, educational resource, and decision support system designed to enhance diagnostic accuracy, aid therapeutic decisions, and improve patient safety. It is renowned for its depth of diverse clinical images (14,000+ images of variations in skin color) with thousands of images showing disease variation to solve the most challenging cases. This diagnostic clinical tool that helps you build a differential diagnosis, and is useful for searching by disease for therapy choices, tests, management. Patient engagement is a key part of the diagnostic process. VisualDx provides handout material for more than 200 of its top diagnoses. The information, written specifically for the patient, can be either emailed or printed right at the point of care.

Most useful for:

  • Users who may not see dermatological manifestations everyday: primary care physicians, emergency room physicians, dentists, infectious disease specialists, and public health workers.
  • Health profession educators who can use the content and images in lectures and other teaching endeavors.
  • Students who will benefit from the diagnostic aids and images provided to see more skin types represented.

Mobile App Available

There is an associated mobile app available. If you are on a laptop or computer, you must first click the VisualDx link above. Once you are in Duke's version of VisualDx, follow these steps:

  • Scroll past the tiles and click "Create a Personal Account."
  • Use your Duke email address when you register.
  • On your mobile device, download the VisualDx app from the App Store / Play.
  • Login with your new personal account information.

Getting Started

VisualDx Tutorials

Basic Searching Instructions

Get started by either entering a symptom, medication, or diagnosis OR choose a tile by problem area and build your differential with your patient's chief complaints and general history.

Steps to Find Full-Text Articles

If you are unable to find full-text articles using the links below, you will need to order it via InterLibrary Loan (Step #3).

Before making a request for full-text articles through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), please try steps #1 and #2 to search for the full-text. This allows our service to focus on articles that are not available for free nor via our Duke subscriptions. Our Interlibrary Loan service is no charge to Duke borrowers for all article requests. If there are copyright or other fees associated with your article request, we will contact you.

  1. Find the article citation in a database: If you aren't already in a database, go back to PubMed or other database such as CINAHL, Embase, or Web of Science to look up the article. Why? Because our Get it @ Duke button will fill out the ILL form for you with all the article information – this saves you time and ensures greater citation accuracy.
  2. Click the GetIt@Duke button: Once you locate the article in a citation database, click the Get It @ Duke link.
  3. Select second button to request as Med Center User: From the page that says “We don't have this online — see below for other ways to get it” click the green button that says “Request – Med Center users.”
  4. Log on with your DHE / NetID username and password: This will take you to the ILL form. The article information will be filled into the form automatically. Scroll to the bottom, verify accuracy, and click submit.

If you can't find the citation in a database or you don't see a GetIt@Duke button, you can place a request manually through our interlibrary loan service. Follow the steps below.

Questions about Interlibrary Loan? All interlibrary loan questions should go to Louis Wiethe, Document Delivery & Interlibrary Loan Manager, 919.660.1179 or

Contact the Medical Library

JavaScript disabled or chat unavailable.