A Review of AccessMedicine
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2 Comments on A Review of AccessMedicine 4122

Lisa Adriani, MLS
Public Services Librarian
Edward and Barbara Netter Library
Quinnipiac University


AccessMedicine is an online resource collection from McGraw-Hill Medical anchored by over 85 core textbooks in medicine and the basic sciences. Additional features include a wealth of content in the form of thousands of images, illustrations, self-assessment tools, case files, point of care tools, and videos. As described on its website, it “is a comprehensive online medical resource that provides a complete spectrum of knowledge from the best minds in medicine.”

Major features of this database are:

Books: Textbooks such at Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery, Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine, Hurst’s The Heart, Williams Gynecology, and Ganong’s Review of Medical Physiology. Much of the content in AccessMedicine is pulled from the textbooks. A full list of titles is available at http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/readings.aspx.

2 Minute Medicine: Case reports on medical research that rate the level of evidence, contextual overview, and references. Two to five reports published each business day.

Quick Reference Tools includes:

  • Quick Dx & Rx/Quick Medical Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Guidelines/ Current Practice Guidelines in Primary Care
  • Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests
  • Calculators
  • Diagnosaurus: Differential diagnosis that can be browsed by symptom, disease. or organ

Interactive Drug Database: Information on dosing, indications, pricing information, and adverse reactions. Includes over 1,000 generic and brand-name drugs. Patient handouts are available in both English and Spanish.


  • Videos: Over 300 examination and procedural videos searchable by category or system.
  • Images: Over 1,000 illustrations and photos that are exportable to PowerPoint
  • A Female Reproductive System Module: Includes several informative clips of various disorders which can present in the female reproductive system.
  • Exploring Essential Radiology: Video clips and images of x-rays, CT scans, MRI, and ultrasounds.
  • Patient Safety Modules: Three self-directed video modules including handwashing, understanding error, and communication concepts.
  • Pharmacology Lectures: Ten lectures presented in videos with pharmacology topics. Can be viewed in context with the textbook content.

Cases: Selections of cases from Lange Case Files series and Pathophysiology of Disease that include questions, clinical pearls, references, and comprehensive questions.

Self-Assessment: Assistance for exam and board review. There are three options:

  • Question and answer banks from resources such as Harrison’s Self-Assessment and Board Review, Williams Obstetrics Study Guide, and LANGE books.
  • Interactive FlashCards with content from the Big Picture: Medical Physiology Flashcards and Pathophysiology of Disease Flashcards.
  • Showdown: A “quiz bowl style” game where opponents can play against each other in rounds of questions. Students can play against the computer or another student.

Patient Education: Handouts on over 7,000 topics for adults and children with diagrams and images, if appropriate. Some topics are available in up to nine additional languages such as Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and French.

 Custom Curriculum: An interactive learning module available for program directors and faculty. Users are able to create assignments and quizzes along with other features.

 CME: Credits are available for listening to lectures and answering questions from Harrison’s Online CME Series and Goodman & Gillman’s Online CME Series.

McGraw-Hill states that AccessMedicine is updated a couple of times a month. Updates can include new books, new editions of books, or new features. Book Alerts are available after logging in, so that users will get an email about an update the same day a new book or new edition is added.

Advanced publishing is available for some of the titles — new chapters from titles will be added to the site in advance of the book’s appearance in print. According to the publisher, “This advanced publishing schedule allows us to get the most current material onto AccessMedicine as the individual chapters are finalized through the editorial process.”


A single search box allows users to search across all content within AccessMedicine quickly and easily. An advanced search is also available to limit a search to a specific textbook or content type such as multimedia, images, or cases.

The results page has three columns. The center column defaults to show results from textbooks. Those results can be narrowed down by topic or specific textbook. The left column will allow for jumping to other items such as multimedia, cases, or patient education. The right column has options to quickly access images and videos on the topic.

Tabs across the top of the page provide access to features in the database. For example, when multimedia is selected, options for browsing become available.

Books can be selected from the Readings tab or they can be browsed by scrolling through a virtual bookshelf on the home screen. When a book is selected, the viewer can look at an entire chapter or one section of a chapter at a time. A sidebar column provides easy access to jump to other chapters. Book chapters can be printed or emailed. Citations are available in AMA, APA, and MLA style. Options to export to citation managers such as EndNote, RefWorks, RIS (Zotero), BibTex, Medlars, ProCite, and Reference Manager are available.


Institutions can authenticate access based on IP or require a username and password. Some features such as Case Files, Custom Curriculum, and Self-Assessment require users to create their own accounts in MyAccess. Accounts are no additional charge and will store answers to interactive quizzes and questions.

A mobile app is available for all institutional users with a full site license. It is downloadable from the App Store and Google Play. Users of the app will have to sign in with a MyAccess account every 90 days through their institution either onsite or through VPN.

The app contains four features from AccessMedicine:

  • Quick Medical Dx & Rx
  • Fitzpatrick’s Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology
  • Differential Diagnosis Tool from Diagnosaurus
  • Diagnostic Tests from Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests


Help is available through a link in the bottom footer. It covers common questions on topics such as browser/operating system requirements, image guidelines, citations, and subscription support. There is also an option to contact McGraw-Hill with several email addresses, a couple of phone numbers, and a feedback form.

Business Model

Contracts vary for each institutional customer and pricing is based on FTE. For academic institutions, the number is based on the number of students. For hospitals, the number is based on the number of beds, but for teaching hospitals the number is based both on the number of students and number of beds. The pricing can be negotiated through a McGraw-Hill representative. While most contracts are for one year, McGraw-Hill will work with each customer to find a contract that fits the institution’s needs.

Individual subscriptions are available. Access to the full site for one year is $995. 24-hour access is available for $34.95 and 48 hour access is $54.95. One-year subscriptions for specific resources are available. For example, Harrison’s Online is $299 and Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine is $199.

Usage Statistics

Comprehensive statistics are available by contacting a representative or setting up an administrative log-in for personal access. Statistics can be obtained in various formats: number of users per session, number of searches, number of book usages, and more. Additionally, McGraw-Hill has librarians on staff to help guide and understand the statistics.

Other Access Products

McGraw-Hill offers several subject-specific products with similar platforms. Each is anchored by textbooks in the subject area and has similar key features such as patient education, self- assessment, drugs, custom curriculum, case files, and multimedia. They are AccessAnesthesiology, AccessEmergency Medicine, AccessPediatrics, AccessPharmacy, AccessPhysiotherapy and AccessSurgery.


AccessMedicine is great for gaining background knowledge and quick answers at the point of care. It includes the leading textbooks that are essential to medicine along with substantial features that are easy to use. It provides plenty of information for anyone in the field of medicine. It is an excellent resource for students as well as medical residents and clinical practitioners. It is suitable for both academic and hospital libraries.

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  1. Dr. Bala February 13, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Dear Ms. Adriani,

    Do you know any online resource collection such as access medicine?

    I was looking for Robbins Pathology textbook (Basis and Basic), and it is not available on the access medicine.

    Thank you.

    Dr. Bala

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