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The Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual is a reference book written from an in-universe perspective, jointly edited by later Star Trek production staffer Geoffrey Mandel and Eileen Palestine and jointly illustrated by later Star Trek production staffers Doug Drexler and Anthony Fredrickson, showcasing various anatomies of species (both humanoid and non-) from the 23rd century, as well as various medical techniques.

Leonard McCoy, MD, is listed as the "Medical Advisor" on the page listing the authors, the illustrators, and the editors.


A Publication of the Star Fleet Surgeon General.

WARNING: The Surgeon General's medical reference manual is intended as a basic source of medical information for starship crew members, and is not an alternative to treatment by a physician. First aid procedures should be used with caution, and only by trained personnel.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.


Hippocratic Oath

The first thing any physician should know is the Hippocratic Oath, created by Hippocrates (460-370 BC) cited as the "Father of Terran Medicine."


An essay on the "Historical Trends in Medicine" credited to Professor Dr. John Gill, PhD, explains about how surgeons have been on ships created by Humans since the first ships were built, and that how those surgeons have written books on "naval medical practices," such as the first such one on Earth: The Surgeon's Mate by John Woodall in 1617 or The Starship's Medicine Chest and First Aid in Space published in 2105.


A timeline of important medical discoveries, failures, and plagues that have affected various important planets, starting with the Great Plague ("skag maug") on Vulcan that killed thousands, and continuing through to the present "Federation Era." The timeline ends around 2260.

Various dates, and the historical information provided, of course, have subsequently been contradicted by both reality and future Star Trek series. One example is that the founding date of the United Federation of Planets is listed as being the year 2125 rather than the year 2161. Another example is that on the parallel Earth, all adults died on 1992 due to the backfire of their life-prolongation experiments.



Note: This section is NOT identified with such a category heading in the book.

A "Periodic table of the Elements (Fifth Interstellar Geophysical Conference standard)" lists the elements 1 (hydrogen) to 129 (tricobalt), and 139 (kironide) and 140 (corbomite).

Interestingly, Kirk seemed to imply (specifically, in both TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver" and TOS: "The Deadly Years") that corbomite was a fictional material that he made up – but it is listed as having been discovered in 2262 at Starbase 27. If so, then it may exist only in laboratory experiments, but to date, there has been no canonical support for any of this as yet.

Following this is a list of all the elements, their chemical symbols, their atomic numbers (by mass number of most stable isotope), their atomic masses, the places of their discoveries, and the dates of their discoveries. (If Humans discovered it prior to first contact, that place and date is given.) All dates are by Earth calendar, unless specially marked using the Vulcan calendar, which lists Vulcan years post-Surak.


Within this section are described a variety of electromagnetic and particulate radiations, and three distinct radioactive elements (specifically, radium, uranium, and celebium) are identified. This is followed by a drawing depicting two types of injurious cell mutation.


The preface text is described as being drawn from the Star Fleet Handbook of Pharmacology, 5th Edition, whose specific author is not named.

A variety of drugs, some referred to in TOS and some in TAS, are listed in a table that gives the following information about each:

  • their names together with their chemical compositions (depicted by structural formulae);
  • their histories, derivations, and origins;
  • their classifications;
  • the mechanisms of their actions;
  • their clinical uses;
  • the usual dosages of each that should be administered; and
  • possible side effects and toxic effects that can result from their employment.

The preface text is drawn from "Pathology: Treating The Unknown, 3rd Edition," which in turn is credited to Dr. Leonard McCoy, M.D.
This section lists diseases, some afflicting characters in TOS and some afflicting characters in TAS. The table that so lists them provides, for each disease:

  • its name and description;
  • its cause or pathogen, or "etiological agent," if known;
  • the onset time of its symptoms and the incubation period of its cause, if known;
  • its signs and symptoms, if known; and
  • the prognosis and treatment of the patient afflicted with it, if known.

One disease NOT listed is "interphase psychosis," whose treatment Dr. Leonard McCoy is credited for having found to be a dilution of a theragen derivative with ethanol in a 3:500 ratio. (TOS: "The Tholian Web")

Life sciences

Humanoid anatomy

This section of the book is prefaced with text drawn from an edition of The Starship's Medicine Chest and First Aid in Space specified as having been published in 2257.

Average weight: 70 kilos (male)
45 kilos (female)
Blood pressure: 160/110 (male)
180/120 (female)
Insectoid biped (Homo indi)

Andorians are a blue-skinned humanoid species, average height 2.3 meters (male) and 1.8 meters (female). They have a life expectancy of 129 years (male) and 134 years (female).

Their eyes are unusual in that they do not process the whole spectrum of light, and must be used in unison with their antennae. Andorian vision is called "quadroscopic," and in retinal terms at least it is limited to tones of gray. Their auditory receptors (in their antennae) are more advanced then many other humanoids, capable of distinguishing independent sounds from a crowd. Also, to provide better focus for their senses, Andorians will lean their head down towards a person they are listening to, to obtain better focus from their monodirectional antennae.

Curiously, the Andorians are shown as not having external ears. This is based on the fact that throughout their TOS appearances, their thick white hair covered their ears – or where their ears would have been. The first prominently-displayed Andorian with ears was the Andorian Federation councilor from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, produced nine years later.
Also later contradicted is the fact that Andorians have non-moving antennae. Clearly shown in Star Trek: Enterprise, it was mentioned that they could "point their antennae" at people in DS9: "The Sound of Her Voice".
Average weight: 200 kilos (male)
100 kilos (female)
Blood pressure: 80/50 (male)
Reptiloid biped (Homo lacertae)

The Gorn(s) are a green reptilian humanoid species, average height 2 meters (male) and 1.4 meters (female). They have a life expectancy of 55 years (male) and 21 years (female).

Being cold-blooded, they require ambient warmth and prefer to live in tropical climates. Their respiratory system is less advanced then most, and provides just enough oxygen to the body to remain functioning. One internal source of temperature is when a female Gorn gives birth: Gorn(s) lay eggs, which hatch while still inside the oviduct – this only appears to be live birth. Their eyes are covered in thousands of facets, each with its own protective lid.

Average weight: 70 kilos (male)
60 kilos (female)
Blood pressure: 120/80
Hominid biped (Homo sol)

Humans are a red-blooded "humanoid" species (originators of the name) with average heights of 1.7 meters for males and 1.5 meters for females. They have a life expectancy of 115 years for males and 122 years for females.

Information on Human anatomy is abundant, and as such is not included in this particular manual. Texts regarding Humans are available at your local Star Fleet Supply Center for merely five credits. Or, for more information, you are advised to contact:

Star Fleet Surgeon General
Federation Institute of Medicine
1 Zefram Cochrane Plaza, New York City
Earth – Sol System – United Federation of Planets
According to the literature, within the next three hundred years, the scientific nomenclature for a Human will change from "Homo sapiens" to "Homo sol," referencing the home star of the species.
Average weight: 90 kilos (male)
65 kilos (female)
Blood pressure: 130/80
Klingonoid biped (Homo sagittarii)

Klingons are a well-known "humanoid" species famous for their use of bio-engineering by their government to selectively breed out the impure in their species, so only the best survive. They have an average heights of 1.9 meters (male) and 1.7 meters (female). They have a life expectancy of 82 years (male) and 69 years (female).

Their single stomach has two duodenums, which increase digestive flow efficiency to their small intestines. Special notice is given to their small intestine, and physicians should be careful: as their unique design is "stairway-like levels," which first twist downward, then upward again into the large intestine. The higher body temperature of a Klingon is caused by his or her second liver.

Although it was published before Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the first appearance of Klingon forehead ridges, the book still does predict that Klingons have indeed undergone some form of genetic engineering, as explained in the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence".
However, the book fails to predict the numerous redundant systems, or "brak'lul," explained in TNG: "Ethics", even though they are shown to have a redundant liver, and hence more anatomical variety than most anatomies in the book.
The book also incorrectly states the average life expectancy of Klingons, as shown for Kang, Kor, and Koloth in DS9, especially in DS9: "Blood Oath", which should probably be measured at 150+ years.
Tellarite anatomy
Tellarite anatomy
Average weight: 80 kilos (male)
150 kilos (female)
Blood pressure: 160/110 (male)
180/120 (female)
Artiodactyloid biped (Homo cygni)

Tellarites are a vaguely pig-like humanoid species, known to share several characteristics with the non-sentient lifeform. They have an average heights of 1.8 meters (male) and 2.2 meters (female). They have a life expectancy of 87 years (male) and 93 years (female).

Tellarites's legs end in two-toed feet with hooves; their femur is notable for missing the third trochanter, and their fibula is vestigial. Their digestive system is designed for plants, and as such they have two stomachs which utilize bacteria to break down the food before entering their single intestine. They often have multiple births, and their sense of smell and hearing is advanced for a humanoid, while their eyesight is sub-par.

The book seems to imply that Tellarites are herbivores, and that their stomachs cannot digest meat. But Enterprise shows that canines are a delicacy on Tellar Prime. Also, although no close up has been specifically focused on the legs or feet of Tellarites, the shows do not seem to support the "hoofed, pig-like feet" theory used here.
Vulcan anatomy
Vulcan anatomy
Average weight: 70 kg (male)
50 kg (female)
Average height: 2.0 meters (male)
1.7 meters (female)
Blood pressure: 80/40
Vulcanoid biped (Homo Eridani)

Vulcans are a green-blooded humanoid species with average heights of 2.0 meters (male) and 1.7 meters (female). They have a life expectancy of 250 years.

Average Vulcan anatomy (Star Fleet Medical Reference Manual)

Males height = 2.0 meters (6'6") Males weight = 70kg (154.3 lbs)

Females height = 1.7 meters (5'6") Females weight = 50kg (110.2 lbs)

Body temperature = 32.78C (91°F) Heart rate = 242 bpm Blood pressure = 80/40

Brain Development
Cranial Development
Heart Development

For all of these three, the developments are depicted in drawings representing, in order, their developments in Humans, Andorians, Klingons, Gorns, Tellarites, and Vulcans.

Intelligent aliens

This section, which, like the earlier section on humanoid anatomy, is prefaced with text drawn from an edition of The Starship's Medicine Chest and First Aid in Space which is specified as having been published in 2257, lists sapient non-humanoid alien beings and identifies either the planets to which they are indigenous or, as in the cases of Korob and Sylvia, the planets where they were found.

The Excalbian race and the horta are both indigenous to the planets where they were found.

Encountered in TOS: "The Savage Curtain".

Encountered in TOS: "The Devil in the Dark".

Encountered in TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?" Represented by a "Hutchinson radiation analysis" of the Medusan "life aura."

Encountered in TOS: "Catspaw", with "only the information hastily gathered by tricorder" being provided.

Encountered in TOS: "The Tholian Web".

The book seems to imply that Tholians are crystalline beings, and that they would not be able to survive in a cooler, oxygen-based environment. But no specific data has been provided on Tholians except mention of their presences on Earth, which contradicts this.
Also, Tholians have thus far only been distinctly shown in TOS: "The Tholian Web". Even then their true physiology remained unknown.

The Kelvans are not shown in their true forms.


This section is prefaced by text drawn from the Star Fleet Guide To Alien Life, Volume 17: Parasites.

Of these two parasites, only the "flying" neural parasites and the tribble have definitely been shown.
Destroying the neural parasites of the Twenty-Third Century proved to be the focal point and ultimate object of TOS: "Operation -- Annihilate!"
The tribble was the dominant creature of TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles", in which Korax referred to the other two, neither of which was actually shown, in his insults of James T. Kirk.

This section is prefaced by text drawn from the Star Fleet Guide To Alien Life, Volume 8: Plants.

Shown in TOS: "The Man Trap".

Given the middle name, "Beauregard," of make-up artist Fred Phillips by Grace Lee Whitney, in character as Janice Rand. Hikaru Sulu, however, referred to the Beauregard weeper as "Gertrude."

Shown in TOS: "The Man Trap".

Shown in TOS: "A Private Little War". Described here as being part of the diet of the Mugato/Gumato, in whose droppings its seeds are dispersed, according to the accompanying text. (But see "First Aid" below.)

Shown in TOS: "The Apple".

Shown in TOS: "This Side of Paradise".

Not shown, either here or in the earlier section on intelligent aliens, are the inhabitants of Phylos, which TAS: "The Infinite Vulcan" depicted.

  • Psionics

This section delves into the subject of psionic abilities, listing such examples of possessors of them as Charles Evans, in TOS: "Charlie X", the Platonians, in TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren"; Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell and Dr. Elizabeth Dehner, both in TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before"; and Apollo, in TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?"

The section on psionics in the book seems to imply that no possessor of psionic powers can be trusted not to be evil. Also, it credits "the terran scientist Kirlian" with detecting the Human aura; the claims of Semyon Kirlian that the technique of Kirlian corona discharge photography depicts the Human aura have not been conclusively substantiated.
The passage in the section that deals with the Platonians advises against injecting large amounts of kironide directly into the bloodstream, as an incurable form of glandular cancer may result.
Some fans have speculated that this section, whose writer is not specifically credited, was written by Dr. Leonard McCoy, and that he wrote it as a bitter attack on any psionic phenomena.
  • Chiropractic

First aid

  • Artificial Ventilation (Gorn)
  • Carry Techniques (Human in all depictions)
    • Three-man lift
    • Chair carry
    • Four-handed seat
    • Two-handed seat
    • Pulling the victim (Human)
    • Lifting & supporting the victim (Human)
  • Classification of Burns (Vulcan)
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) (Human)
  • Dislocation of the Superior Cortex (Andorian)
  • Mouth-to-mouth Resuscitation (Vulcan)
  • Foreign Body Obstruction of the Airway
    • Abdominal thrust (Andorian)
    • Chest thrust (Tellarite)
    • Supine abdominal thrust (Gorn)

These are all variations of the Heimlich maneuver, though this is not explicitly stated.

  • Mugato Bite

The actual Mugato/Gumato, taxonomized here as Pongidae theropoda, is depicted. This correlates to Mahko roots in TOS: "A Private Little War".

  • Opening the Mouth (Human)
  • Vulcan Cardiac Arrest


The sickbay diagnostic scanner, the accompanying image of which shows its scales as having been calibrated for Humans, specifies these life signs:

  1. Respiration;
  2. Pulse;
  3. Temperature, in Fahrenheit and Celsius;
  4. Brain K3, described here as measuring the brain's electrical activity;
  5. Lungs. Specifically, their capacity in liters, or cubic decimeters;
  6. Cell rate, or partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the respiratory system in mmHg;
  7. Blood Q5; this means heart activity (notably electrical stimulus, or beat), as two pumping actions in count/minute; and
  8. Blood T2×10, or mean diastolic blood pressure in mmHg.

Background information

  • The book was first released in 1977 as a fan publication by "Star Fleet Productions, Inc." This, in turn, was an off-shoot of "The Federation Trading Post," a fan-based Star Trek store located in New York City in the mid-1970s, which Douglas Drexler and his friend Ron Barlow then ran jointly. In the same year, the book was picked up by Ballantine Books for an official release, and as such it saw two printings, the first in October and the second a month later in November. Drexler, upon retrospection, has commented, "It was an awful book, really. I cringe when I look at it now." (The Official Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Magazine issue 11, p. 51)

Numerous illustrations in "The Nagus"

Cover gallery