Giving Up the Ghost or One Too Many. Color etching. Thomas Rowlandson, 1756-1827. Courtesy of The National Library of Medicine.

I knew I should have consulted Merck.

What? An authoritative medical textbook on the cheap?

Yes, this dandy little ready reference book, revered by healthcare professionals, condenses the knowledge of over 350 foremost medical specialists and gives you a handle on all but the most obscure medical conditions. Now well over a century old, this concise compendium of medical wisdom is The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, 20th edition. Although Merck is written for physicians and medical professionals, it is equally cherished by hypochondriacs and can be useful as well to medical malpractice attorneys.

This expanded 20th edition of Merck was just published in 2018 with excellent reviews. You can read some of these at As it is a not-for-profit endeavor of the Merck company, The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy is, without a doubt, the most economical medical reference book on the planet. Although the list price for Merck is $79.95, you can purchase it for less at Amazon. Merck is also available online, but this Web version isn't nearly as engaging.

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This Tips for Attorneys page was last updated with links verified by MedMatters on November 14, 2018.

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