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Books, Journals, New Media
December 16, 1998


Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 1998;280(23):2045-2046. doi:10.1001/jama.280.23.2045-JBK1216-4-1

Textbooks, like Microsoft Windows and other software, need to be upgraded every few years, or perhaps not quite so often. Medical thinking changes, progress is made, new facts need to be added and old irrelevant ones deleted. Like software companies, textbooks also compete with one another. They come on the market beautifully bound and colorfully illustrated, then die at birth or go through a few editions. A few become the standard for a decade or so, then like all things they too must die. The upgrading, therefore, consists of a new editor assembling a new team and undertaking what turns out to be a horrendous job, so that after a few editions, the editor gets sick of the whole thing, which explains why there are always new books to buy, read, and review for potential new book consumers.

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