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A copy of the 12th edition of The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, recently sent to the septuagenarian Chief Editor of the American Journal of Diseases of Children, aroused nostalgic recollections of the years of yesterday when he was visiting the homes of the sick with a little black bag gripped in his palm. The bag, though small, housed a surprising number of articles: otoscope, ophthalmoscope, blood pressure apparatus, sterile tongue blades and syringe with an assortment of accessory medications, tubes for sterile cultures, etc. In spite of varieagated items, there was always room for the Merck Manual which was read often before or after a home visit and sometimes consulted quite unabashedly in the presence of a family.
If I have any criticism of the current 12th edition, it would be to point out the lack of an introductory complete history of an amazing manual. The "Foreword" merely
WEECH AA. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy,. Am J Dis Child. 1972;124(3):452. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110150150030