Writing a case report
Case reports are a useful way to raise awareness of interesting pathology observations and boost your number of publications. They are shorter to write than a primary research paper and require less background work and are therefore an efficient way to practise writing for publication.
- Seek opportunities: ask your consultants if they have any potential cases and would like to collaborate.
- Find a case which is interesting/unusual/novel or which exemplifies an important learning/practice point. Confirm this by performing a literature search. Consider whether it would be better to collect several such cases and publish a case series which is likely to be of more interest to journal Editors.
- Photograph relevant histology slides or scan them and screenshot the images, saving them in the format specified by the journal. Consider whether images of special stains/immunohistochemistry would be useful.
- Images should be of good quality and of sufficient magnification. Features of interest may benefit from being labelled (e.g. with boxes/arrows).
- Collect relevant demographic and clinical information. This should be sufficiently anonymised. Check whether you need consent. Consider asking a clinical colleague to collaborate.
- Choose the journal e.g. the journal of Diagnostic Histopathology (check the journal’s website or contact the editorial team in the first instance.)
- Write the case according to the journal’s ‘instructions for authors’
- Distil the key learning points.
- If your case report is accepted for publication, remember to update your CV.