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Cureus. 2017 Aug 7;9(8):e1546. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1546.

Case Reports, Case Series - From Clinical Practice to Evidence-Based Medicine in Graduate Medical Education.

Author information

1
Family Medicine, North Florida Regional Medical Center.
2
Graduate Medical Education, North Florida Regional Medical Center.
3
Department of Clinical Research, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation.
4
Internal Medicine, University of Central Florida College of Medicine.

Abstract

Case reports and case series or case study research are descriptive studies that are prepared for illustrating novel, unusual, or atypical features identified in patients in medical practice, and they potentially generate new research questions. They are empirical inquiries or investigations of a patient or a group of patients in a natural, real-world clinical setting. Case study research is a method that focuses on the contextual analysis of a number of events or conditions and their relationships. There is disagreement among physicians on the value of case studies in the medical literature, particularly for educators focused on teaching evidence-based medicine (EBM) for student learners in graduate medical education. Despite their limitations, case study research is a beneficial tool and learning experience in graduate medical education and among novice researchers. The preparation and presentation of case studies can help students and graduate medical education programs evaluate and apply the six American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies in the areas of medical knowledge, patient care, practice-based learning, professionalism, systems-based practice, and communication. A goal in graduate medical education should be to assist residents to expand their critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. These attributes are required in the teaching and practice of EBM. In this aspect, case studies provide a platform for developing clinical skills and problem-based learning methods. Hence, graduate medical education programs should encourage, assist, and support residents in the publication of clinical case studies; and clinical teachers should encourage graduate students to publish case reports during their graduate medical education.

KEYWORDS:

case reports; case studies; clinical; clinical practice; clinical skills; evidence-based medicine; graduate medical education; publishing; residency; resident training

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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