The first edition of the McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine is making its formal debut, fittingly, in time for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine this month.
It is the first comprehensive Canadian textbook of internal medicine. A full range of topics, from allergy and endocrinology to palliative care to rheumatology, is covered in its 1600 pages, almost all authored by McMaster University faculty members who are considered leaders in their fields.
“We already have so many McMaster medical experts who write chapters for textbooks and online resources for others that we thought it was time to create a textbook ourselves and show the world McMaster quality,” said Roman Jaeschke, co-editor-in-chief of the textbook and professor of the Department of Medicine at McMaster.
“We have close to 200 faculty members at McMaster who were involved in making this textbook a reality, and almost every department in the school of medicine is represented,” said Jaeschke.
The McMaster authors, who served as editors or writers of chapters, have extensive experience treating patients and have been involved in research, clinical trials, and the development of clinical practice guidelines, which give practical instructions to medical professionals. They attracted more than 500 expert contributors from around the world to add to the book.
Working alongside Jaeschke in the roles of co-editors-in-chief are Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Piotr Gajewski of the Polish Institute for Evidence Based Medicine.
“The concept came from Poland, where there is an evidence-based medicine inspired internal medicine textbook but, although the idea is Polish, from the beginning this project was inspired by McMaster and its evidence-based medicine,” said Jaeschke.
The textbook will exist in both a published print version sized for portability and priced at $50, and online for both national and international audiences. The book will be kept updated through its digital format at www.mcmastertextbook.com with supplemental additional information such as lectures and reviews.
The target audience is clinicians, including internists, family physicians, front-line acute health-care workers, medical students and residents, and other medical professionals.
The textbook has an emphasis on practical clinical application and accessibility.
The book uses a pragmatic approach employing the GRADE system, standing for Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation, which also has its roots at McMaster. The GRADE system supports physicians in making evidence-based decisions by evaluating the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations.
“We developed the textbook because of the growing need for on-demand access to reliable information, the increasing cost of many resources, and our belief, because of our experience over the past 50 years here at McMaster, of our ability to meet the needs of medical professionals accurately,” said O’Byrne.
“We want the textbook to be practical, current, and affordable.”
Jaeschke added: “This textbook was created by the best McMaster has to offer. Every chapter was reviewed by vigorous experts and we are proud of our excellence and what we have to share. At this moment, I think we have the best internal medicine textbook of this kind in the world.”
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