Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Online Case Reports

Several journals and professional organizations publish case reports as a continuing education tool for readers. These are often similar to the JMLA's case feature, in that a problem is presented, and the reader is walked through the findings and solutions. A few examples you may want to check out for building your own medical knowledge base:

  • BMJ Interactive Case Reports - case presentations, laboratory results, and questions to consider for the clinical case, with readers' thoughts in the Rapid Response Section.

  • Case Records of the Massachusetts General Hospital, January 2000-present - From the New England Journal of Medicine, this site presents case records, including presentation, differential diagnosis, discussion and diagnosis. Users can search by keyword or browse by specialty. Some cases have associated lab, radiology, and/or histopathology details. NEJM also includes a recurring feature, Clinical Problem-Solving, that uses a narrative approach to work through diagnosing and treating a patient case. They’re interesting and fairly quick reads, and do an excellent job of illustrating a clinical decision making process. For example, see the April 2007 entry, "Building a Diagnosis from the Ground Up — A 49-year-old man came to the clinic with a 1-week history of suprapubic pain and fever."

  • Journal of Medical Case Reports - This BioMedCentral journal was launched in February 2007, and publishes cases on a variety of general medicine topics.

  • If you're especially interested in case reports, you can find citations for more than 1 million of them in PubMed.

  • Finally, the Clinical Cases and Images blog features links to general information for clinical knowledge-building (such as ECG training, step-by-step procedure guides, and physical examination videos) as well as cases on cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, nephrology, endocrinology, hematology/oncology, rheumatology, infectious diseases, and other specialties.

    What is your favorite source of clinical cases? Tell us in the comments!

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