It has been a year since the release of the McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine, and already, it’s been accessed by tens of thousands of people around the world.

The first edition of the textbook, meant for quick reference by all front-line clinicians, including physicians, medical residents, allied health-care professionals and students, is available at no cost through an app or on its website, and as a printed book for purchase.

In the past six months alone, the textbook’s website was visited by more than 70,000 distinct users and the McMaster textbook app has been downloaded over 16,000 times. People from more than 75 countries have accessed the product digitally. About a third of those are in Canada, followed by people in the United States, Saudi Arabia, India and United Kingdom.

“We believe the textbook is so well-received because it is the best in the world in the category of information resource for non-specialist front-line clinicians, or specialists outside their area of expertise,” said Roman Jaeschke, co-editor-in-chief of the textbook and professor of the departments of medicine, and health research methods, evidence, and impact at McMaster University.

The McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine is the first comprehensive Canadian textbook of internal medicine. A full range of topics, such as allergy, hematology, endocrinology, psychiatry, and rheumatology, is covered in its pages, almost all authored by McMaster faculty members who are considered leaders in their fields.

The creators behind the textbook were quick to add information about COVID-19 to its digital versions. Among the free products are a COVID-focused chapter, interviews with leading experts, and a series of short videos on medical problems, all complied on a central COVID-19 resource hub.

“Since the advent of pandemic, we have focused most of our resources into COVID-related information,” said Jaeschke.

Looking to the future, the creators hope to make the textbook a complete resource. One idea currently under consideration is a database of drugs used as medications, featuring such information as dosing, side effects, interactions, etc. Another idea is creating a section for patients to learn more about their health issues in clear language from an authoritative source.

In the meantime, Jaeschke said he encourages more people to access this free, made-by-McMaster resource.

“We are inviting all members of the McMaster community and associated hospitals, including but not limited to students, physicians, nurses, residents, physiotherapist, physician assistants, pharmacists and all other allied health care professionals to open our app or website and explore,” said Jaeschke. “We believe that this is for everybody looking after patients.”

The McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine is available for sale from the McMaster Campus Store and online at https://campusstore.mcmaster.ca/mcmtextbook.

A digital version can be accessed free at www.mcmastertextbook.com. The app can be found at www.mcmastertextbook.com/app