I bought my first copy of Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine as a bright-eyed, excited 1st or 2nd year med student. That was the 13th edition. Then, when I graduated from medical school with my M.D., my inlaws bought me a copy of the 14th edition as a gift.
Harrison's is undoubtably one of the premier medical references that every medical student, resident physician, or practicing physician should have access to. It is divided into 15 Parts:
1. Intro to Clinical Medicine
2. Cardinal Manifestations and Presentation of Diseases
3. Genetics and Disease
4. Clinical Pharmacology
6. Oncology and Hematology
7. Infectious Diseases
8. Disorders of the Cardiovascular System
9. Disorders of the Respiratory System
10. Disorders of the Kidney and Urinary tract
11. Disorders of the Gastrointestinal System
12. Disorders of the Immune System, Connective Tissue, and Joints
13. Endocrinology and Metabolism
14. Neurologic Disorders
15. Environmental and Occupational Hazards.
There is also a color Atlas of Dermatology, Atlas of Endoscopic Findings, Atlas of Funduscopic Examination, and Atlas of Hematology.
There is a total of 2569 pages in the single volume 14th edition. This doesn't include the 170 page index. There is also a slightly more portable 2 volume edition available.
While I agree that it is the best general internal medicine text available, I don't believe every physician should buy one. I think every office should have an up to date copy. Every medical library already has an up to date copy. Physicians should have many places where they can look up a copy.
You will need to refer to it, but I think the cost makes it a little expensive for everyone to own a copy. I checked Amazon.com. The new 15th edition is available. $150 for the 2 volume set or $125 for the single volume.
I think that's a little much for me to replace mine right this moment.
By the way, I doubt that anyone outside the medical profession would have any use for this text as the detail is pretty amazing. I don't think it is for the lay public.
Thanks for reading.