Merck Manual is one of the few remaining traditional items in the contemporary practice of medicine and surgery. The new 12th edition just published maintains an unbroken record of conciseness of presentation and scientific validity. More than 140 clinicians contributed to the composition of more than 1,900 pages printed on Bible paper which retains the handbook concept of a ready reference volume. The Manual was not designed for a complete coverage in depth of what the surgical specialist requires. On the other hand, it provides a tremendous amount of practical knowledge in all other fields of general medicine. It is in these areas that many surgeons have found the clinical discussion in the Merck Manual over the years an indispensable reference source.