How to write a case report
Two BMJ Case Reports journal editors take you through the process
- By: Seema Biswas, Oliver Jones
During medical school, students often come across patients with a unique presentation, an unfamiliar response to treatment, or even an obscure disease. Writing a case report is an excellent way of documenting these findings for the wider medical community—sharing new knowledge that will lead to better and safer patient care.
For many medical students and junior doctors, a case report may be their first attempt at medical writing. A published case report will look impressive on your curriculum vitae, particularly if it is on a topic of your chosen specialty. Publication will be an advantage when applying for foundation year posts and specialty training, and many job applications have points allocated exclusively for publications in peer reviewed journals, including case reports.
The writing of a case report rests on skills that medical students acquire in their medical training, which they use throughout their postgraduate careers: these include history taking, interpretation