Just What the Doctor Ordered: Medical Publishing in Chicagoland

CBR_Logo2It’s National Strawberry Day, which seems like a healthier option, perhaps, than National Quiche Lorraine Day, which also is celebrated today, May 20 (by whom, I don’t know, but that’s another blog post for another day).

Since health and nutrition are on my brain, it seems like a fine time to take a look at medical publishers in Chicago and the Midwest. As it happens, the area is home to several publishers who focus on clinical medicine, health, health education, health sciences, nursing, pharmacy, etc., etc. These houses and associations publish books, journals, magazines, and related literature for students, professionals, and laypeople.

Medical publishing generally falls within the STM category (science, technical, medical), which is roughly a $6 billion market; medical accounts for about one third of that. Among the largest publishers in the field are Elsevier, McGraw-Hill, Springer, Wiley/Blackwell, Wolters Kluwer, and Thomson. Smaller publishers include Goodheart-Willcox and Quintessence Publishing. In addition, the American Medical Association, American Dental Association, Radiological Society of North America, and a number of other associations, societies, and professional organizations based in and around Chicago and the suburbs publish journals and related literature, largely for members and professionals.G-W anatomy 9781619604124

Since we looked at local association publishers last year, today we’ll look at non-association medical publishers that have offices or are based here in Chicagoland: Goodheart-Willcox, McGraw-Hill Medical, Quintessence Publishing, and Wolters Kluwer.

Launched in 1921, Goodheart-Willcox today publishes print and digital textbooks for Grades 6–12, higher education, and professional learning, with a focus on career and technical education. The publisher, headquartered in Tinley Park, publishes in a variety of subjects; in the medical area, the house offers titles in anatomy/physiology, food/nutrition, health education, and health sciences. Recent titles include Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology and Principles of Food Science, 3e.

MH Harrisons 007174889XMcGraw-Hill Medical has offices in Burr Ridge and New York. The group is part of McGraw-Hill Professional, which itself is part of McGraw-Hill Education. According to the company, McGraw-Hill Medical is “publisher of Harrison’s, the world’s #1 medical textbook, and a leading provider of digital solutions for medical students and practitioners.” The group publishes in dozens of medical subjects, from anatomy, biochemistry, and critical care to surgery, toxicology, and urology. Recent titles include Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 2014, Pharmacotherapy Casebook: A Patient-Focused Approach, 9e, and Williams Obstetrics, 24e.

Based in Hanover Park, the U.S. offices of Quintessence Publishing are but one of nearly two dozen locations around the world. Founded in 1950, the publisher began in Berlin publishing only German-language books and journals about dentistry. According to theQuintessence cover B6393 company’s website, “[t]he first English-language journal, Quintessence International, was launched in 1969 following the opening of the U.S. office in Chicago.” Today, Quintessence publishes books, journals, and multimedia products, still with a focus on dentistry. The company also offers related symposia. Among its best-selling titles are Summitt’s Fundamentals of Operative Dentistry, Periodontal Review Q&A—A Study Guide, and Change Your Smile: Discover How a New Smile Can Transform Your Life, 4e.

Another international publisher with offices in the United States is Wolters Kluwer. Founded nearly two centuries ago, the professional reference house publishes in several areas: legal & regulatory, tax & accounting, financial & compliance, and health. In medical publishing, Wolters Kluwer focuses on clinical solutions, medical research, and professional & educational resources. Although Wolters Kluwer maintains offices in Illinois in Chicago and Riverwoods, Wolters Kluwer Health is headquartered in Philadelphia. Indeed, the publisher has offices in more than forty countries around the world, and it employs more than 19,000 people.

Of course, these are not the only publishers in the area that tackle STM topics. Several other houses publish in health, medicine, and nutrition, whether for professionals or consumers. The University of Chicago Press, for example, publishes in medical science, psychiatry, and psychology. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Agate Publishing’s Surrey Books imprint focuses on food and lifestyle books. Geared toward consumers and laypeople, Surrey Books ventures into such health-related topics as veganism and food allergies.

STM publishing represents a sizable segment of the publishing industry, and growth expectations for this area are positive. STM, The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers, projects growth in medical publishing to be 6.3% in 2014, coming off YOY growth of 5.8% in 2013. With a number of STM publishers in the greater Chicago area, this bodes well for a segment of the industry that employs 110,000 people around the world. Indeed, according to The STM Report: An Overview of Scientific and Scholarly Journal Publishing, “the STM book market … is evolving rapidly in a transition to digital publishing. Ebooks currently make up about 17% of the market but are growing much faster than STM books and than the STM market as a whole.”

That kind of healthy growth may well be just what the doctor ordered.

—Kelli Christiansen

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