Merck Manuals now available in Spanish

Expert translation delivers reliable health information to growing population of Spanish speakers

Feb 09, 2016, 08:08 ET from The Merck Manuals

KENILWORTH, N.J., Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck Manuals* is proud to announce the 116-year-old trusted medical resource is now available in Spanish on in the United States.

The U.S. is now the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, behind only Mexico. Despite this growth, the proportion of Spanish-speaking doctors has declined steadily over the last 30 years, and professionally translated medical information for Spanish speakers remains limited. Poor translation quality of online resources is another barrier to accessing reliable medical information.

The Manuals' more than 10,000 medical resources, including articles, educational quizzes, how-to videos and medical calculators, were translated into Spanish through a multi-step process, using highly qualified native Spanish-speaking doctors and medical linguists. The Manuals then hired independent, native Spanish-speaking physician reviewers to examine select pieces of content to ensure the quality of the translation. features a unique toggle function that allows users to easily switch between professional and consumer versions and their Spanish translations. With the click of a mouse, physicians can toggle to the consumer version of the site and then access the Spanish translation, providing patients with trusted medical information in layman's terms in their native language, ultimately improving communication between doctors and patients.

"Researching medical issues online should not cause more anxiety than clarification," said Robert Porter, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The Merck Manuals and one of the United States' preeminent publishing physicians. "For individuals who need medical information in Spanish, an automated translation isn't good enough. In fact, a poor translation could be a significant barrier to an effective relationship between patients and health professionals. Here's an example: Doctors often prescribe medication to be taken 'once' daily. In Spanish, 'once' translates to the number 11. A computer may not catch something like that, which poses a significant risk to patients who think they're following doctors' directions."

Since 1899, The Merck Manuals has worked to break down barriers in medical communication – not for profit, but as a public service to improve individuals' ability to exercise their universal right to credible medical information. Authored by 350 medical experts editorially independent of Merck, The Manuals transitioned to an all-digital format in 2015, available at no cost with no registration or advertisements.

"The best medical information worldwide is documented in English as a universal language, but unfortunately the advances in diagnosis and treatments for common medical conditions are out of reach for all the people around the world who don't speak English," said Hector Gonzalez Usigli, M.D., based in Guadalajara, Mexico and Merck Manuals author. "Having a resource translated into their native language is highly important to help increase their medical knowledge, which could make a difference between health and disease for families and entire communities."

The Spanish translation is a crucial next step in Merck Manuals' Global Medical Knowledge 2020 Initiative, which is dedicated to making the best current medical information accessible to nearly three billion consumers and health care professionals by 2020.

*The Merck Manuals are known as MSD Manuals outside of the United States and Canada. is also now available in Spanish.

About The Merck Manuals and MSD Manuals

First published in 1899 as a small reference book for physicians and pharmacists, The Merck Manual grew in size and scope to become one of the world's most widely used comprehensive medical resources for professionals and consumers. As The Manual evolved, it continually expanded the reach and depth of its offerings to reflect the mission of providing the best medical information to a wide cross-section of users, including medical professionals and students, veterinarians and veterinary students, and consumers. In 2015, The Merck Manual and MSD Manual kicked off Global Medical Knowledge 2020, a program to make the best current medical information accessible by up to three billion professionals and patients around the world by 2020. For access to thousands of medical topics with images, videos and a constantly expanding set of resources, visit or and connect with us on social media: 

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About Merck

Today's Merck is a global health care leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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