The McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine – South Asian Edition 2022 is being released both in print and online, says editor-in-chief Roman Jaeschke.
The textbook is being published as South Asia faces a ‘perfect storm’ of infectious diseases combined with rising rates of conditions like obesity, as India and neighbouring countries rapidly modernize, he said.
Twenty thousand print copies will be available for distribution to the region’s front-line clinicians to help them cope with the often-dizzying pace of medical change, after months of intensive editing at McMaster.
“South Asia is experiencing a new convergence of diseases from east and west,” said Jaeschke, a professor of medicine at McMaster who also led the development of the first edition of the McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine published in print and online in 2019.
“Clinicians in this region must therefore produce solutions to these new problems and it is much more efficient on their part to take those solutions developed elsewhere and adapt them to their local area. We need physicians to have this information at their fingertips.”
To help clinicians keep up, the new textbook has a South Asia perspective included in every section, written by an author from the region to reflect the South Asian situation and viewpoint. For example, this could mean reminding clinicians that, for example, different test is used in India to screen for gestational diabetes, or that different thrombolytic drug (streptokinase) is frequently used in the setting of heart attacks.
Like the first edition, the new textbook features a full range of medical topics, from allergy to toxicology, almost all authored by faculty members of McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences who are considered leaders in their fields.
Jaeschke said that medical information resources are becoming increasingly complex and often directed at specialists, but they are mostly used by non-specialist clinicians.
This is where the McMaster textbook comes in: helping doctors, nurse practitioners, emergency room residents and other frontline staff quickly treat patients, many of whom have complex conditions.
For example, Jaeschke said, an endocrinologist should also be adept in cardiology, as a patient with diabetes in their care may also suffer from heart disease complications.
“When we began writing the textbook, our starting point was understanding how expensive access to information is becoming, as production is costly and involves literally hundreds of people,” said Jaeschke.
“However, we know McMaster University has a tremendous amount of expertise in developing affordable information platforms and our faculty members take part in the development of medical practice guidelines worldwide.”
The full list of target countries for the new textbook are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives, as well as the Southeast Asian nations of Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore.
Jaeschke is hopeful that the McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine – South Asian Edition 2022 will meet the needs of South Asian clinicians, and will be widely used. It will be published in English, widely used by clinicians in a region that speaks a multitude of languages.
Published just before the COVID-19 pandemic, the app for the 2019-20 edition was downloaded 25,000 times and it is currently used by 1,000 people per week. The textbook is also accessed online by more than 15,000 people per month.
A digital version can be accessed at www.mcmastertextbook.com. The app can be found at www.mcmastertextbook.com/app. New users who register can enjoy free access to both the website and app for their first 3 months (McMaster users for one year).