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The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, often called simply The Merck Manual, is the world's best-selling medical textbook. First published in 1899, it is now in its 18th (2006) edition.


The "Professional Edition"

The Merck Manual is recommended by librarians in standard references such as the "Brandon/Hill selected list of books and journals for the small medical library"[1], published by the Medical Library Association. It is also one of the cheapest medical textbooks on the Brandon/Hill list. The Merck Manual is published by Merck & Co., Inc. but created by an independent editorial board and peer reviewers. In addition to the hard-cover edition, the full text is available free on-line.[2]The Merck Manual is organized, like most internal medicine textbooks, into organ systems, such as heart, lungs, gastrointestinal system, muscular system, etc., dealing with each major disease of that system in turn, in the standard format of diagnosis (symptoms), prognosis and treatment. It condenses all of medical knowledge into 2992 pages, by emphasizing practical information of use to a practicing physician

The "Home Edition"

In 1997, it was re-edited in a consumer edition, The Merck Manual of Medical Information, Home Edition, and a second revised edition was published in 2003. In addition to the hard-cover and several paperback editions, the full text is also available free on-line. The Home Edition includes the full content of the Professional edition, except for details of tests, drug doses, and technical information for use only by doctors. It uses lay terms, with medical terms in parenthesis, because patients often want to learn medical terminology for further reading. Each chapter begins with an illustrated lay description of the normal functioning of the organ system. Unlike most patient material, The Merck Manual--Home Edition gives the poor prognosis and sometimes survival statistics of incurable and fatal diseases like lung cancer.

See also


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