October 1976

Case Reports in the Archives of Internal Medicine

Author Affiliations

PO Box 776 Park Ridge, IL 60068

Arch Intern Med. 1976;136(10):1090. doi:10.1001/archinte.1976.03630100008004

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Several leading medical journals have discontinued the publication of case reports. Possibly, this has occurred because the format of the case report is the most abused and misunderstood form of medical communication. The result may be a dramatic decrease in the number of case reports published in world medical literature, and, thus, potentially valuable information may not reach the clinician.

A report of a single case usually requires an extensive survey of the literature, since the investigator wishes to determine if the findings have been observed before and, if so, how frequently; however, it is a discouraging task for editors to be required to review large numbers of manuscripts, each identified as "A Case Report and Review of the Literature." Surely, both editor and reader understand that the literature has been reviewed, but how relevant is this to the message of the particular case described? One may assume that adequate

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