The last several years have been heady, and at times bewildering, for health care professionals. We have witnessed revolutions in our ability to provide care for previously unmanageable diseases, like chronic hepatitis C, only to uncover new arthropod-borne infections, like Chikungunya and Zika virus-associated illnesses. We have disseminated care standards to combat iatrogenesis (not just within hospitals, but nationally and internationally), and then realized that some recent shibboleths (like providing opioids for chronic pain relief) have produced tragically increased death rates. Prediabetes, diabetes mellitus, and obesity have reached epidemic proportions even as our understanding of healthful nutrition and physical fitness has reached new heights. We repeatedly create new solutions to health care delivery shortcomings, only to discover that the costs of providing diagnostic studies, medicines, and invasive procedures puts many medical services out of economic reach for individuals, communities, and nations. We strive to improve public health, only to find that lead contaminates the water supply of many cities. More than ever we've grown to recognize that health care must become more efficient, more effective, more rational, and, at the same time, more caring and personal.
The 23rd edition of Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary has been edited and written to help students of health care, as well as seasoned professionals, master the ever-evolving art and science of caring, and communicate to each other and our patients with clarity and precision. Our editorial staff has made thousands of revisions to our previous edition, and added thousands of the most important new terms that have entered our understanding in the last few years; always, of course, to bring meanings to life.
It gives me pleasure to acknowledge the many individuals who have contributed directly or indirectly to this new edition of Taber's: Robert Craven, Jr., Brigitte Fenton, Joseph Patwell, and Alison Enright; Taber's content and consulting editors; the many readers who have written us with suggestions; and the following students and educators to whom I owe personal debts of gratitude: Dustin Jones-Phillips, Kennedy Sundberg, Clark Embleton, Eve Cunningham Sepulveda, Homero Sepulveda, Brandyn Webb, Jeremy Ota, Stephen Snyder, Jenifer Marshall Lippincott, Robert Lippincott, John Roberts, Jennifer Roberts, Thomas Kinane, Ruth Kinane, Julian Parrino, Phillip Weinstein, George Beller, Tayeb Al-Hafez, Lara Bovilsky, Louise Bishop, Habib Khan, Douglas Wickman, Katherine Buddenberg, Bill Ehrhart, Mindy Amarante, Jamie Buth, Victor Marans, Anne Hayton, Hugh Osborn, Laura Goldfarb, Eikeem Barron, John Rudoff, Donna Jacobsen, Jorge Ponte-Fissgus, Thomas Martinelli, Terry Morrow, Richard and Charlotte Barnhart, Eldon Gossett, Neal Rendleman, Jon Stout, Kelly Chin, Janet Reed, and Robert Ashley.
But my greatest thanks are due my wife, April D. Venes, who is both a health care educator, and a loving spouse and formidable friend. Without April's support, this edition of Taber's would never have been possible.
Donald Venes, M.D., M.S.J., F.A.C.P.