Iris Kovar-Gough MA, MLIS, AHIP
Liaison Librarian to the College of Human Medicine
Michigan State University Libraries
This is an update of a review I wrote that was published in the November 2019 issue of Doody’s Collection Development Monthly. You can find the original review here.
The purpose of the product has not changed since 2019. McGraw Hill’s AccessSurgery continues to be a comprehensive surgical education platform consisting of 46 textbooks, basic and advanced surgical procedure videos, 16,000+ images, an interactive board review question bank with more than 3,000 American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE)-style questions, and clinical reference tools. One section is devoted to clerkship-related content, including case files, study questions, and videos. The intended audience is medical students and surgical residents. Due to the lack of CME-eligible materials in 2022, I no longer think clinicians working on their surgical maintenance of certification are an intended audience.
New textbook editions have been added to the site since 2019. These include Case Files: Surgery, 6th Edition (2021) and Zollinger’s Atlas of Surgical Operations, 11th Edition (2022). Older editions are kept on the platform in an archive and links do not break to them. Updating curriculum content tied to older resources can occur at the content creator’s discretion and not urgently during the academic year. “3D Surgical Anatomy Animations” have been added to the multimedia tab but, as of August 2022, this section is just one animation on thyroidectomy. Presumably, more will be added over time, but an update schedule is not provided. In 2019, two AccessSurgery titles were eligible for CME credit, and in 2022, only one text is: General Surgery Examination and Board Review. If McGraw Hill wishes to continue to offer CME credits on AccessSurgery, they should expand the texts and cases that are eligible to make this a worthwhile feature.
The features and functionality remain the same as in 2019. It is unclear if the accessibility issues have been improved. An updated accessibility audit will likely be completed by the BTAA in 2025. Search has been improved — the quick reference synthesis topic pages no longer appear, and the results are organized by relevance. The relevancy ranking seems to sort first based on word frequency in chapter titles, then in chapter text, and displaying images last. This is more what the average user would expect. Advanced search is done using the “add term” option on the left side of the results page and term type can be changed to keyword, title, author, or ISBN. This makes the search process leaner and streamlined.
The business model has not changed. Institutional pricing continues to be at request through a sales representative, trials are not granted to student subscribers, and the individual subscription pricing remains the same as 2019. Presumably, the institutional cost has increased since 2019, but the opaque pricing model makes it impossible to verify or determine approximate increases.
If a library supports a surgical clerkship or residency program, AccessSurgery could constitute as a core resource. The textbook and video content are robust, and it endeavors to be a “one stop shop” for surgical resources. The value of the upgrades is minimal. One expects an ebook subscription library to update editions as they are produced. The multimedia and other features are the same as in 2019. The 3D surgical anatomy animations could add value if substantially more content is added to that area.