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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

Advancing medicine one research note at a time: the educational value in clinical case reports

Alberto J Cabán-Martinez13* and Wilfredo F García-Beltrán2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, USA

2 Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

3 Environmental and Occupational Medicine & Epidemiology, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard University, School of Public Health, 401 Park Drive, Landmark Center Building, 3 Floor, East #49, Boston, MA, 02215, USA

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:293  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-293

Published: 14 June 2012

Abstract

A case report—a brief written note that describes unique aspects of a clinical case—provides a significant function in medicine given its rapid, succinct, and educational contributions to scientific literature and clinical practice. Despite the growth of, and emphasis on, randomized clinical trials and evidenced-based medicine, case reports continue to provide novel and exceptional knowledge in medical education. The journal BMC Research Notes introduces a new “case reports” section to provide the busy clinician with a forum in which to document any authentic clinical case that provide educational value to current clinical practice. The aim is for this article type to be reviewed, wherever possible, by specialized Associate Editors for the journal, in order to provide rapid but thorough decision making. New ideas often garnered by and documented in case reports will support the advancement of medical science — one research note at a time.