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Book and Media Reviews
November 7, 2012

Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

Author Affiliations: University of Michigan Health System and Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Ann Arbor (pmalani@umich.edu).

JAMA. 2012;308(17):1813-1814. doi:10.1001/jama.308.17.1813-b

Building on 6 decades of tradition, the 18th edition of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine features an updated, multimedia format that presents the core knowledge of internal medicine in a comprehensive yet easy-to-navigate fashion. This hefty, 2-volume text is a worthy update to what is arguably the most recognized book in all of medicine.

Medicine has evolved considerably during the 63 years since the first edition, and several entirely new specialties have emerged. As the editors recollect in the preface, “peptic ulcer disease was thought to be caused by stress, nearly every tumor that was not resected led to death, rheumatic heart disease was widely prevalent, and hepatitis B and [human immunodeficiency virus] infection were unknown.” Today, the sheer volume of information required by the internist is mind-boggling, and the body of evidence informing clinical care continues to burgeon. The transformation in how physicians learn the art and science of medicine has been equally dramatic.