Writing From the Wards: Advice for Residents

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Published articles share information and ideas across fields and can be a part of educational and career development. Academic and personal interests are the typical motivators, but many residents have trouble with the logistics of writing and the simple act of getting started.


The following article gives concrete advice, structural recommendations and addresses logistical concerns in writing manuscripts, focusing on case reports.


The process of writing a paper results in self-teaching, while striving to teach others. Working on case reports often produces posters and presentations on the way to writing the manuscript. This article reviews different types of case reports: from the classic sentinel case, to case series, and video submissions, to teaching cases. A “how to” strategy is presented in the writing process, from idea, to data, to writing itself. Aspects such as choosing your audience and journal are discussed, as well as employing coauthors and working together to produce a polished manuscript.


Residents and fellows are immersed in clinical medicine but may not possess experience in writing journal articles. Presented is advice on and logistics of writing manuscripts that are based on clinical data and clinical experience. Through utilizing a structured approach and understanding the practicalities involved, more physicians in training can write from the wards.

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