Mar 21, 2010
When confronted with a complex case presenting with co-morbid rare syndromes (that seems to span more than one specialty) and unexplained drug reactions, do you take on such a puzzling case that will require too much time and research or refer the patient to someone willing to do a case study. If fellow specialists are not able or willing to solve the case (due to time or perplexing nature of the illness, what is the next best step?
It seems unethical to just give up on such patients, further they may actually enhance the overall understanding of complicated mechanisms. How does one decide on or locate an individual or group to take on the case as a special study?

toby jones

10+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2007
My understanding (which could be off) is that case studies aren't usually done on 'complex cases' (which are all too common) and they are rather more likely to be done on 'simple cases with unusual features'. Especially if those unusual features respond well to treatment of a certain kind or whatever. Simple cases are more useful for isolating particular mechanisms than a muddled mess would be because there are so very many things which could be going on with the latter and it is hard to generalize from one muddled mess to another...

With respect to referral... I guess you do your best at providing effective treatment and refer on when you think you have reached your wits end / someone else might have a better shot.