Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Content last modified Feb 2020
HOW TO USE THE MANUAL
How is The Manual organized?
The Manual has a tree structure going from:
- Medical topic area (for example, Heart and Blood Vessel Disorders) TO
- Chapter (Abnormal Heart Rhythms) TO
- Individual topic (Atrial Fibrillation)
Medical specialty areas are listed under "Medical Topics", which you can find on a tab on the navigation bar at the top of every page and on the accordion menu at the upper left corner from anywhere on a page. You can expand Medical Topics and chapters to see which topics they contain.
The navigation bar also allows you to access specific types of content
- Nav bar: Symptoms, emergencies, and news
- Resources tab: Includes common medical tests, figures, images, quizzes, tables, and videos
What's the best way to find a medical topic in The Manual?
- Use the SEARCH bar at the top of each page (to search for a specific phrase, enclose it in quotes: "heart attack")
- Browse medical topics and chapters alphabetically using the alphabet list below the search bar
- Browse the "Medical Topics" list on the nav bar
How do I navigate within a topic?
To find subtopics (eg, "Diagnosis") on a content page, there are several methods
- Scroll down the page OR
- Click the subtopic in the left navigational bar
You can filter search results to select only certain types of content, such as medical topics, tables, figures, images, videos, calculators, or 3D Models
How do I navigate to related topics?
To find related topics to a content page (ie, topics in the same chapter), use similar methods
- Click the related topic in the left navigational bar OR
- Scroll to the lower section of the page, just before the "Also of Interest" section, and click arrow left to go to the preceding topic or arrow right to go to the following topic.
ABOUT THE MANUAL
What is in the Manual?
The Manual contains general medical information about thousands of diseases and symptoms in all fields of medicine.
What are the different versions of the Manual?
- Professional Version: Detailed medical information for health care professionals and students.
- Consumer Version: Easier to understand information on the same topics as the professional version but focused on patients, parents and caregivers
The Consumer Version also contains Quick Facts, which are shorter, easier to read versions of selected consumer topics. You can toggle to Quick Facts from a topic page or select them from a search result.
You also can toggle between Professional and Consumer versions using buttons on each page.
Who creates the content of the Manual?
The Manuals are the product of collaboration between hundreds of medical experts worldwide, an independent editorial board of peer reviewers, and our editorial staff of physicians and professional medical writers.
How often is the content updated?
The Manual is continually updated with new content and new features. We publish new content once per month.
Isn't this website just promoting MSD products?
For over 100 years, The Manuals have had complete editorial independence to present the best current thinking regarding medical diagnosis and treatment, and do not in any way promote or publicize our pharmaceutical products. To ensure absence of commercial or corporate bias, authors and peer reviewers cannot be employees of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, nor can they serve as speakers for our pharmaceutical products, or in any other way represent the company. Although the editorial staff is employed by Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, there is no control, review, or even input into the content of The Manuals allowed from any other part of our company, including research and development, sales and marketing, public relations, legal, and corporate management.
Why is the website free? What does MSD get out of this?
We believe that health information is a universal right and that every person is entitled to accurate and accessible medical information. We have a responsibility to protect, preserve and share the best current medical information to enable more informed decisions, enhance relationships between patients and professionals, and improve health care outcomes around the world.
Since the website is free, can I do whatever I want with the content?