The importance of patient case studies in delivery of evidence-based care

Ongoing education is a core aspect of healthcare delivery at Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN).  

But with busy schedules and only so many hours in the day, it can be challenging for clinicians to keep up-to-date with all the specialist areas of health. That’s why published patient case studies are so valuable.  

“Doctors share case studies to spread knowledge about unique or rare clinical scenarios they encounter,” said CALHN Basic Physician Trainee Dr Brandon Stretton.  


“By publishing these cases, they help other healthcare professionals learn from their experiences, which can be incredibly useful in diagnosing and treating future patients.”  


“Case studies are a way to contribute to the collective knowledge and improve patient care across the board.”  

A case study is a write-up of the presentation and clinical management of a specific patient, with all personal details removed and consent provided.  


Sudden vision loss – but what’s causing it?

Dr Stretton and CALHN opthalmologist Dr Sumu Simon recently published a case study about a man who presented to the emergency department reporting sudden onset vision loss in his right eye lasting several hours. The case is also presented in a recent episode of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians podcast, Pomegranate Health, which was prepared in collaboration with clinicians from Northern Adelaide Local Health Network (NALHN).  

“This case is particularly significant because it highlights a sight-threatening manifestation of a systemic disease, which is crucial for clinicians to recognise and engage the appropriate multi-disciplinary teams,” Dr Stretton said.  


“Awareness of such cases can lead to prompt diagnosis and treatment, potentially preventing serious complications.”  


“Publishing and discussing this case helps to inform and educate a wide range of healthcare providers about the condition, its diagnosis, and the latest treatment approaches.”  

In this case, the patient was effectively managed through accurate identification and timely management of the cause of his vision loss.  


Dr Stretton (CALHN) and Dr Bacchi (NALHN) are collaborators in a podcast produced by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Keeping up-to-date

Dr Stretton said case studies play an important role in medical education.  

“Many doctors, including myself, do regularly read case studies,” he says. 


“Case studies are particularly engaging and educational, offering practical insights that can be directly applied to patient care.”  


“Case studies are often used in training and ongoing professional development because they provide real-life contexts that enhance understanding and retention of medical knowledge.”  

When included in reputable medical journals, case studies undergo a rigorous peer-review process – that is, they are scrutinised by experts in the field before publication.  


Read the research

With co-authors Dr Yiran Tan and Dr Mark Hassall, Dr Stretton and Dr Simon published the paper The Role of Tocilizumab in Glucocorticoid Resistant Giant Cell Arteritis: A Case Series and Literature Review in the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology.  

The podcast episode is hosted by Neurology Registrar Dr Stephen Bacchi from NALHN.  

If you have published a case report that may benefit others through discussion in a podcast format, please reach out to Dr Stretton ( and Dr Bacchi (