Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

image of medical books and a stethoscope
Skip subpage navigation

Welcome to the DHA Virtual Medical Library

The Defense Health Agency Virtual Medical Library provides access to high-quality, evidence-based medical, nursing, and allied health information resources for Military Health System personnel. The VML ensures that all personnel have access to core, essential resources regardless of duty station. While on the DHA network, no login is necessary to access any library resources. If you're experiencing problems, please connect through your local facility library or respective Military Department OpenAthens Library account.

While all personnel can use VML, if you're stationed at facility with a local facility library, please contact the local library first for guidance on how to access resources. Local libraries often have additional resources not available in the VML.

Announcement: AORN eGuidelines+ is now available through the AORN eGuidelines site. In addition to the practice guidelines, eGuidelines provides a wealth of resources, such as evidence-based recommendations, clinical checklists, templates, competency verification tools, and audit tools to support perioperative patient safety and quality outcomes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and answers for the DHA Virtual Medical Library.


I have an article citation. How can I retrieve the article?


There are many ways to retrieve an article with the citation. Below are two ways.

Go to PubMed. Search for the article. Open the PubMed record. If available, click on the full text button. The icon will ink to the full text of the article if it is available. If the article is not available, the icon will redirect to an interlibrary loan request form.

Another way to retrieve an article is to search for the journal in the Electronic Journals and Books. If there are no results for the journal, the library does not have access to the article. Email the library to submit an interlibrary loan, providing the citation. If the journal is listed, look at the years available for the journal. If there is a journal link that includes the year of the citation, click on the link to go to the journal or database. Then find the volume, issue, and page number from the citation to retrieve the article. If there is no journal link that includes the year of the citation, the article is not available. Please email the library to submit an interlibrary loan.


Is there an overview of how to use and access the DHA Virtual Medical Library?


Yes, we have a video that shows you how to access the different medical resources available. Please watch the DHA VML Overview video.


Can the medical library conduct literature searches?


Users at a facility with a medical library should reach out to their medical librarian with their request. Here is the page of all of the facility libraries with contact information. The DHA Virtual Medical Library can assist with literature searches for those without a librarian and those located at DHHQ. Please email the library with a description of the search needed.


Are there other service medical libraries?


Army, Air Force, and Navy merged their resources into the DHA Virtual Medical Library (VML). All of the resources found on the VML site are available to all providers at military hospitals and clinics. 

There are some military hospital medical libraries that are able to purchase additional resources locally. These medical libraries can also provide assistance with research, literature searches, and submitting interlibrary loan requests.


What do I do if a resource asks for payment?


The journal and database publishers have the IP ranges for the military hospitals and clinics; resources should not ask for payment. Accessing a resource from one of those IP ranges will grant access. If a resource asks for payment, the publisher probably does not have the IP addresses for your hospital. When this occurs, please email the DHA Virtual Medical Library (VML), explaining the access issue and the location. The VML can request the IP range and send it to the vendors.

To work around the IP issue, log into MyAthens. MyAthens is designed to provide remote access to the resources (i.e. when not on the network or VPN).


How do I get remote access to resources?


The Army, Air Force, and Navy have their own virtual medical libraries, including their own OpenAthens accounts.

Persons eligible for an OpenAthens account are:

  • Service members working in a military hospital or clinic
  • DOD civilians or volunteers working for one of the services in a military hospital or clinic

Users must use their .mil email to register. If the reCAPTCHA doesn’t load while on the .mil network, please try clearing your browser cache and re-start the browser. If possible, try filling out the form on a commercial network. Once submitted, you will receive an email to activate your account and set your password.


Can I create an OpenAthens account as a Reservists or a National Guard?


Yes, Reservists or National Guard that work in a medical facility providing patient care are eligible for an OpenAthens account.

Based on their branch, they will register with one of the following accounts:

Please use the DOD issued email when registering (;;;, etc.)


How do I search for articles?


To find articles on a topic, the best place to start is in PubMed and/or Ovid. PubMed is the National Library of Medicine’s free interface to access MEDLINE, the premier biomedical literature database containing over 27 million references from 5,200 biomedical journals, dating from 1966 to present. Ovid is an interface to search across multiple databases including MEDLINE.

Searching in PubMed

Begin with a keyword search in PubMed. A results list of articles will populate. Click on the record of a relevant article. The record will usually include the article citation and abstract. To get to the full text of the article, click on the full text button, not the publisher button. The icon will ink to the full text of the article if it is available. If the article is not available, the icon will link to an interlibrary loan request form to submit a request.

Searching in Ovid

Conduct a keyword search in Ovid. A results list of articles will appear. Ovid is a full-text database. This means the full text for many articles, but not all, are available in the database. If the article is available in Ovid, a PDF link to the article is on the results page. Sometimes an article will be available in HTML format but not in PDF format. In that case, there is a link for Ovid Full Text. If an article is not available in Ovid, a full text button will appear. Click on the icon to go to the full text article if it is available. If it is not available, the icon will link to an interlibrary loan request form.

Specialty Databases: Behavioral Sciences, Dentistry, and Nursing

In addition to PubMed and Ovid, there are article databases that focus on a specific medical area. If the topic is in the behavioral sciences, search the databases PsycINFO and PsychiatryOnline in addition to PubMed. If the topic is in nursing, search CINAHL Complete and ClinicalKey for Nursing in addition to PubMed. If the topic is in dentistry, you should search Dentistry & Oral Sciences Source in addition to PubMed. If the full text of an article is not available in those databases, you will see the full text button. Click on the icon to go to the full text article if it is available elsewhere. If it is not available, the icon will link to an interlibrary loan request form.

Here is the page of all the databases.


I am a retired veteran. May I register for an OpenAthens account?


Unfortunately, veterans are not covered under the library's license agreement and cannot register for an OpenAthens account.

You also may be interested in...

Fact Sheet
Mar 3, 2023

UpToDate Mobile Complete

.PDF | 538.63 KB

This fact sheet describes the UpToDate Mobile Complete database of evidence-based recommendations from anywhere – even without a Wi-Fi or network connection.

Last Updated: April 02, 2024
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery