The task of textbook writers and editors is becoming increasingly more difficult. They face progressively more troublesome problems in choosing the level of exposition, selecting material and providing suitable emphasis and evaluation. Of current medical texts some are comprehensive and try to cover all of medicine; others restrict themselves to a particular area. Some try to give almost encyclopedic coverage; others are content to provide only the essentials. Some are large, others are much larger. Virtually none are small.
The two new textbooks of medicine which arrived at this editor's desk on the same day have many things in common and also many points of divergence. One of the features they share is a dissatisfaction with previous textbooks of medicine. Both new texts try new approaches.
Internal Medicine Based on Mechanisms of Disease is carefully designed for a specific audience. The editors have recognized that the conventional texts, with their
Lester S King. Two New Textbooks in Medicine. JAMA. 1968;205(12):866–867. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140380070016