Skip to Main Content

On behalf of the Editors, it is an honor and privilege to provide this Preface to Hazzard's Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, 6th Edition. In an accompanying Foreword for the 6th edition, Bill Hazzard provides a brief history of this textbook, which has become a mainstay of the rapidly developing field of geriatric medicine. Adding to the already rich history of this book, first published in 1985, the 6th edition emerges renewed and vibrant. It is particularly special that it is the first edition of this textbook to carry the name of its founding editor Bill Hazzard in its title. What we and our publisher McGraw-Hill have done is to simply formalize the reality of the imprint that Bill Hazzard has made, as the textbook has been known informally as Hazzard's Textbook already for many years.

The 6th edition is substantially different from its predecessors, reflecting the substantial growth and increasing sophistication of geriatrics as a defined medical discipline. The main sections of this edition have been reorganized to make the sections more functionally aligned. Vitality and continued rejuvenation has been enhanced through the addition of 9 new chapters: Inflammation and Aging, International Gerontology, General Principles of Pharmacology, Transitions (of care), Emergency Room Care, Rural Aging, Social Work, Psychoactive Drug Therapy, and Appropriate Antibiotic Use. Furthermore, we have recruited new authors for over 40% of the chapters. As Bill Hazzard has outlined in his Foreword, three new editors have played a critical role in the renewal of this textbook: Sanjay Asthana, Kevin High, and Stephanie Studenski. They have joined me (my 4th edition), Joe Ouslander (his 3rd edition) and Mary Tinetti (her 2nd edition) to make a vital new editorial team. Fortunately for all of us, Bill Hazzard has stayed actively involved as Editor Emeritus and Senior Advisor.

The 6th edition acknowledges and recognizes the worldwide growth of the field of geriatric medicine in several ways. A distinguished International Advisory Board has been created; the previously mentioned, new chapter on International Gerontology summarizes a number of important issues around the world; and we are very pleased that 11 of the chapters in the 6th edition have been written by authors who are in countries outside of the United States. Overall, our authors are a large and diverse group including many geriatricians but also a substantial number of other specialists, who come from a range of medical and surgical disciplines. In addition multiple health professions and disciplines are represented among the authors. Two of the textbook's editors are women, and nearly 30% of the lead authors of chapters, as well as many other co-authors, are women.

A major step forward is the online version of the 6th edition. One of the original goals of working with McGraw-Hill as the publisher of this textbook, as described in Bill Hazzard's Foreword, was to provide a link with Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. While there have been a number of parallels with Harrison's over previous editions, the link becomes substantial with the online version of Hazzard's Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, 6th Edition. Both Harrison's Online and Hazzard's are part of McGraw-Hill's Access Medicine, a comprehensive online resource for medical students, residents, clinicians, and researchers. In addition to Harrison's Online and Hazzard's, Access Medicine includes the ability to quickly search across more than 50 titles from McGraw-Hill's Clinical and Lange Libraries. There are a number of important implications of our textbook becoming a part of McGraw-Hill's Access Medicine. First, it adds a living presence to the textbook as additional material can be added as needed as online updates. We anticipate that such updates will be available for many chapters of the textbook on a regular basis. We are especially pleased that students of the health professions, both undergraduate and postgraduate, will have full access to our textbook through the online version if they are at an institution that subscribes to Access Medicine. Finally, our authors are no longer encumbered by page limits for the published text. Additional complementary material and illustrations, as well as educational materials, can now be made available through the online edition.

Thus just as our population is inexorably aging, and medicine is faced with an ever growing number of older patients with multiple and complex problems, we have been able to bring together the best minds and leaders in the field to provide authoritative guidance, including a highly diverse and breadth of thinking that has not previously existed in our textbook of geriatric medicine. We hope to reach a broader audience through the availability of the electronic version of the textbook and to keep it a living and growing document that encompasses the rapid stream of new information which is helping us to provide an evidence base for more effective care for our elderly population.

Putting together a textbook of this magnitude requires enormous effort by many people. Again on behalf of the editors, I wish to particularly thank the many chapter authors who have contributed to the book. Their dedication and commitment is exemplified by Jonathan Ship, whose untimely death in 2008 is a major loss to the field of geriatric dentistry. Jonathan wrote the Oral Cavity chapter for the last three editions. Because it has become a classic, I asked Jonathan if he would be willing to revise and update the chapter for the 6th edition. We both knew that he had a terminal diagnosis and would not likely live to see the final publication. However, I was not surprised when Jonathan immediately accepted the invitation to revise his chapter, which he did with his usual vigorous and thorough effort. A little bit of Jonathan thus lives on in the 6th edition.

The editors also greatly appreciate the strong and effective working relationship that we have with McGraw-Hill. This relationship is made possible by the outstanding efforts of James Shanahan and colleagues who have ensured the progress of the publication and the important next steps in the textbook's evolution. We especially appreciate the efforts of Nancy Woolard from Wake Forest University School of Medicine, who has served as a senior editorial assistant for four previous additions. Her role has been critical to provide a strong link to our past history and as the final common pathway for assembly of the 6th edition. We also wish to acknowledge the staff that provided support for editorial efforts from our academic offices. These include Jane Harlow and Beverly Williams at the University of Michigan, Jane Mallory at Yale University, Lori Hasse at the University of Wisconsin, Sheila Rutledge at Wake Forest University, and Susan Ratliff at Emory University.

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.