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October 16, 1996

Cecil Textbook of Medicine

Author Affiliations

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Houston, Tex

JAMA. 1996;276(15):1264. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540150066034

It took eight years, but the new edition of the granddaddy of general internal medicine texts has finally been published. At a time when many authoritative reference texts are updated and published every three years, it is surprising that it took this long to get the new Cecil. I suspect that the many physicians who used Cecil as their guide to internal medicine will be quite pleased that the wait is over.

On the surface, the novice might wonder if there is a difference among the major internal medicine textbooks. All of them are thick, heavy books with prestigious editors (interestingly, among the editors of Cecil, Harrison, Stein's, and Kelley's texts, none are women). The difference is in their organization, which in some cases is substantial.

According to the preface to the previous edition of Cecil, the concept was not to fragment discussions of disease processes but, rather, to combine