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Learn more. The strategy is to compress a huge amount of information about a vast number of medical conditions into nearly 3, pages of closely packed print. There are about contributors—in addition to an editorial board and a panel of consultants—across 22 sections of medicine, with many chapters to each section. Provided by Merck and Co as a service to the community in a commitment to provide excellent medical information, the manual is a monumental offering at a very reasonable cost.
Who would need such a compact reference? Clearly, it is targeted at medical practitioners and nurses for varied problems encountered day to day with which they may not be familiar. In fact, any practitioner in a medical or paramedical field could need to have a quick browse in relation to a particular patient.
When asked, a surgeon friend replied that it was not uncommon for him to refer to his copy of The Merck Manual when an unknown or unfamiliar condition emerged during a consultation. It is possible that students in training would have or wish to use a volume of this ilk but I suspect The Merck Manual would fall short of major medical textbooks.
Optometrists should have some medical resource information at hand. At first sight, The Merck Manual gives more detail that one appears to need. Its succinctness may prove excessive, when one is really looking to investigate a particular medical condition. The style is to the point but limited discussion may leave one wanting more by way of explanation.
Without being a medical practitioner, it is difficult to check the accuracy of information across the full gamut of The Merck Manual. The range of conditions is surprisingly extensive but detail is thin and a medical dictionary might help with terminology that is familiar to experts but not others.
For example, posterior vitreous detachment is described as a form of floater requiring assessment by indirect ophthalmoscopy but its key role in retinal detachment is not mentioned. There is brief discussion of refractive surgery and soft contact lens options.
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Hyperthyroidism, myasthenia gravis, blood dyscrasias and Parkinsonism are also relevant and understandable. Lists of drugs are full but I am unsure how representative these are for countries other than the USA. There can be a certain fascination in exploring other areas of medicine, too. This knowledge is more likely to benefit me in some personal or family gastric emergency than my patients.
I am not sure when I would ever need the Glascow Coma Scale but such diverse information is there for the interested person. I am sure that every optometrist would benefit from having The Merck Manual within reach.
The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 18th Edition book download
Usage would not be a daily occurrence but some cases need an understanding broader than ophthalmic manifestations. Criticisms can certainly be made. There are no references but one could not reasonably expect them in such a diverse volume and there are many other search capabilities these days.
Equally, experts have carefully crafted their words to convey a particular impression in a tightly constrained fashion.
Virtually the same information as the book is provided free of charge with the additional benefits of search facilities and updating before the next printed edition appears. Volume 90Issue 1. The full text of this article hosted at iucr. Please check your email for instructions on resetting your password.
The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 18th edition
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