A Review of McGraw-Hill’s AccessAnesthesiology
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J. Michael Lindsay, MSIS, MBA
Head of Collections & Access Services
Preston Medical Library
University of Tennessee


AccessAnesthesiology, from McGraw-Hill Education, is a collection of textbooks in anesthesiology by McGraw-Hill and supporting resources. It is hosted on the McGraw-Hill Medical site, along with other McGraw-Hill medical and health sciences resources, including AccessMedicine, AccessSurgery, JAMAevidence, and the Case Files Collection. AccessMedicine, McGraw-Hill’s platform for medical publications, was released in 2004. From its origin as a textbook platform, AccessMedicine expanded to offer other features and was joined by several additional offerings in physiotherapy, cardiology, pediatrics, emergency medicine, hematology-oncology, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pharmacy, and others. The development of the McGraw-Hill Medical platform in 2014 gave the Access sites a similar look and feel so users could see familiar features across the sites and quickly move between collections. AccessAnesthesiology was released in 2010, and includes 33 current textbooks in anesthesiology, such as Anesthesiology, 3rd edition, Longnecker et al. (McGraw-Hill, 2018) and Morgan & Mikhail’s Clinical Anesthesiology, 6th edition, Butterworth et al. (McGraw-Hill, 2018). It additionally features over 100 case studies, 300 videos and animations, practice guidelines, and 3,800 questions in an interactive board review, as well as an integrated drug database of anesthesia drugs [1, 2].{Education, 2020 #3371}

AccessAnesthesiology is designed primarily for advanced health sciences students, specifically medical students and residents, with a selection of test prep materials and preparation materials for clerkships. The product is also useful for practicing anesthesiologists desiring to sharpen their skills and refresh their knowledge. AccessAnesthesiology helps students prepare for the boards and learn about anesthesiology by integrating well-regarded book material in an electronic, web-based platform with images, case files, videos, and more.

The site is led by an advisory board of recognized names in the field, including Dr. Mark Dershwitz, Dr. David Longnecker, and Dr. Brian Sites.

Features & Functionality

McGraw-Hill Medical’s integrated website gives all Access products a similar look and feel. This clean interface enables users experienced in one site to use other products. From the top left of each page, users can navigate easily to other Access sites. The top ribbon also includes links to support and, at the top right, a branding message discloses which library has provided the product.

From the top right of the home screen, users are given the option to create a MyAccess profile. This allows users to create a list of favorite chapters, which can be organized into folders. Users can also add cases to their profiles for review and use and keep track of self-assessment questions for exam preparation. Creating this personal account from a home institution’s network allows for remote access to content, including smartphone access, without requiring additional credentials. Using this account, students and researchers can gain and track CME credits; save chapters, videos, images, and tables; and download images to PowerPoint slides [2, 3]. AccessAnesthesiology, consistent with other Access sites on the McGraw-Hill Medical platform, includes links to books, quick reference materials, drugs, multimedia, and cases and study tools, allowing users quick access to what they are looking for. 

The McGraw-Hill Medical platform includes a built-in search engine. The search box directly below the content headings defaults to searching the active product, but can be changed to search all sites. Conveniently, the “all sites” search only searches products to which the library currently subscribes in order to avoid frustrating users with results they cannot access. Users familiar with PubMed and other search engines that support full Boolean search capability, including the connectors AND, OR, and NOT, should note that searches in AccessAnesthesiology default to AND [4]; the search engine does not support Boolean operators OR and NOT. However, phrase searching using quotations is supported. Advanced search options and filters are available on the results page after a search is completed. Users can search by keyword, title, author, or ISBN and filter for book chapters, tables, images, cases, multimedia, drugs, and quick reference sources. Search results come in the form of book chapters and include the title, section and chapter, an image of the book cover, and a brief excerpt. The search term is highlighted in the results. Advanced search options also allow users to filter results by specific textbooks and topics.

The search functionality is generally effective. However, because results are reported at the chapter level, that can mean users must review the chapter (in at least a cursory manner) in order to find what they are specifically seeking. This could be improved by highlighting the search term in the chapter for users to find the information more quickly. One feature I would like to see added is set building functionality. It would be helpful to compare different searches to see which ones yield the most useful results.   

Outstanding features of AccessAnesthesiology include the content, interface, and presentation of results. When a search is completed or a book chapter is viewed, users are presented with context-sensitive choices that allow filtering of the desired content type or source. When users view a book chapter, they can get a citation, search within the book, or go directly to figures and tables. However, the best interface is not useful without quality content, which is the strength of AccessAnesthesiology. This is a resource that is in demand and frequently requested by medical faculty. Additionally, in the past few years, procedure and other video content has been added to the product, further increasing its utility.

Business Model

For institutions, McGraw-Hill Medical offers AccessAnesthesiology and other Access sites via annual license with an unlimited concurrent user model. Pricing is not published and quotes are only available through institutional sales representatives who can inform institutions about discounts or other offers. Individual subscriptions are available for $995 per year, and temporary access can be purchased for 24-hour or 48-hour increments. For end users at an institution with a subscription, access is available via IP authentication with proxy access available for off-campus use.

AccessAnesthesiology is intended for anesthesia residents and practicing anesthesiologists. Thus, institutions supporting residencies in anesthesiology would benefit most from a subscription to this product. McGraw-Hill offers access to an administrator site that provides both COUNTER R4 and COUNTER R5 statistics, in addition to other reporting options.  


Libraries supporting anesthesia residency programs likely already own physical copies of many of the textbooks included in AccessAnesthesiology. In addition to providing books to all residents simultaneously through the unlimited user concurrent license, libraries that purchase this product offer their residents and anesthesiologists access to a comprehensive collection of procedure videos, study tools, and drug information. Other healthcare professionals, including medical students, nurses, and others also will benefit from the collection of resources included in AccessAnesthesiology.


1.            McGraw-Hill Education. About AccessAnesthesiology [cited 2020 03/19/2020]; Available from: https://accessanesthesiology.mhmedical.com/ss/about.aspx.

2.            McGraw-Hill Education. AccessAnesthesiology: For Residents. McGraw-Hill.

3.            McGraw-Hill Education. Welcome to McGraw-Hill Medical [cited 2020 03/19/2020]; Available from: https://mhmedical.com/ss/About.aspx.

4.            McGraw-Hill Education. About Search. 2020 [cited 2020 03/19/2020]; Available from: https://accessanesthesiology-mhmedical-com/ss/aboutSearch.aspx.

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