University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Internal Medicine Residents’ Perceptions of Writing and Presenting Case Reports

Hannah Tumilty, MD; Rachel Henning, MD; Jennifer Obasi, MD; Kurt Pfeifer, MD; Sanjay Bhandari, MD; Pinky Jha, MD, MPH

WMJ. 2020;119(4):270-274.

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Background: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires all residents participate in scholarly activity during residency. Case reports provide trainees an opportunity to engage in scholarly activities. This study assesses internal medicine residents’ perceived benefits of writing and presenting case reports and barriers to this process.

Methods: A survey was disseminated to internal medicine residents at a tertiary academic center. The survey questionnaire aimed to assess residents’ perceptions about benefits and barriers to writing and presenting case reports. Responses were obtained on a 5-point Likert scale, and the data were analyzed as respective frequencies and percentages.

Results: Forty-three (34%) of the 125 eligible internal medicine residents completed the survey. Fifty-eight percent reported never having presented a case report. Ninety-six percent believed that finding an interesting case was an important factor in facilitating writing a case report, while 81% perceived finding a good mentor as equally important. Perceived barriers to case report writing included lack of training in reviewing scientific literature (59%), lack of adequate time (58%), lack of formal training in identifying and writing case reports (56%), and lack of a mentor (54%).

Conclusions: Our study showed that the majority of residents had not written or presented case reports. While case reports provide a myriad of educational value, various barriers exist that include lack of proper training, adequate time, and a mentor. Our findings suggest that additional institutional resources should be dedicated to designing a curriculum to address these perceived barriers.

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Milwaukee, Wis (Tumilty, Obasi, Pfeifer, Bhandari, Jha); Department of Pediatrics, MCW, Milwaukee, Wis (Henning).
Corresponding Author: Pinky Jha, MD, MPH, FACP, Division of General Internal Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, HUB for Collaborative Medicine, 7th Floor, 8701 W Watertown Plank Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53226; phone 414.955.0356; email
Acknowledgement: The authors wish to acknowledge Ms Jenifer Klub for the administrative help with this study.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
Funding/Support: None declared.
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