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Review Writing in Health and Medicine

Case Reports

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"Case reports and case series have their own role in the progress of medical science. They permit discovery of new diseases and unexpected effects (adverse or beneficial) as well as the study of mechanisms, and they play an important role in medical education." (Vandenbroucke)

"Case reports represent the oldest and most familiar form of medical communication. Far from a "second-class" publication, many original observations are first presented as case reports." (Writing a Clinical Vignette)

Vandenbroucke J. P. (2001). In defense of case reports and case series. Annals of internal medicine134(4), 330–334.

Writing a Clinical Vignette (Case Report) Abstract | ACP Online. (2016). Retrieved Mar 14, 2023, from

CARE Guidelinesred line

Using the CARE Guidelines is recommended for case reports to help authors reduce the risk of bias, increase transparency, and provide early signals of what works, for which patients, and under which circumstances.

Case Report Organization

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Each journal has guidelines for organizing a case report. You will want to have an idea of the journal in which you want to publish and review their submission guidelines. The key things you need before writing your case report are consent from the patient and to collect images and data.

Your case report's format will be similar to the following:



Case Description

1.Patient demographics: age, gender, and race
2. Pertinent history, physical exam, laboratory, and imaging findings
3. Timeline of important clinical events (both in text and graph or table form)
4. Diagnostic assessment, including applicable biomarkers, indices, and rating scales
5. Therapeutic interventions
6. Clinical outcome of case



Writing and Submitting Case Reports (Free Submission Options)

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USD Libraries' subscription to BMJ Case Reports includes a Fellow Membership which allows our students, faculty, residents, and staff to submit case reports to BMJ at no charge/fee. Contact a Health Sciences/Medical Librarian or Wegner Library for the code needed when ready to submit. 

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