A medical case study is what concretes findings in the medical field, for research scientists, governments and the general public, from emerging diseases to the latest medical technology. Through this vehicle, all the developments in the medical field have historically been recorded, allowing for the tremendous breakthroughs human kind have achieved in curing diseases, improving health care, as well as hygiene standards internationally, to quote but a few benefits.
While the case study is deemed to be a somewhat paradoxical method of research, it is certainly ideally tailored to work effectively in the field of medicine, and is one of its most useful instruments. Medical studies are typically an exercise in critical reflexivity, which factor alone renders it effective for progress in the field. An example of the medical case study’s advantages is that, unlike in many other fields, it utilizes Falsification practically. Falsification is recognized as one of the most scrupulous tests to which a scientific proposition can be subjected. This is because, if just one statement does not fit into the proposition that is presented, the entire proposition becomes false, and must therefore either be revised or rejected. So, if a medical professional proposed that disease X was 100% fatal, this would hold true up to and until another medical professional presented evidence of a single survivor of the disease. The proposition that disease X is 100% fatal then becomes a false statement, or falsified, and must be revised to include exceptions to the rule. Further, the process of this revision would naturally spur research efforts in that particular field, which would eventually benefit the planet.
Depending on the medical professional’s field of interest, a medical case study can be extremely lengthy, for example in the case of a study in HIV/AIDS. Conversely, a medical case study on a medical device can be as short as 500 words on how the device improves the treatment or diagnosis of a group off studied patients. Finally, clinical trials are a favorite object of a medical case study in all areas of the medical field. Dealing in experimental treatments, cures and remedies for everything from disease and mental disorder to drugs and diet remedies, they have proven an important vehicle for medical advancement.
The medical case study is a particularly interesting type of case study, because it in itself somewhat falsifies acknowledged reservations on this instrument as a useful research tool. They are as follows:
- Generally, theoretical knowledge carries more value than solid, practical knowledge. It is argued that a general assumption on any subject cannot be made through even the most detailed analysis of a single case study. This is indeed true in most examples you may try to think of, excepting in the case of a medical case study. The theory that any vaccine cured one person, for example, will probably mean that it can cure any person that is affected with
- The case study is useful mostly for the generation of hypotheses. In the case of medical case studies, a hypothesis is often practically proven or negated, simply through the means of clinical testing.
- The case study is less objective than it appears, because it is inherently biased towards verifying the researcher’s formulated theory or argument. This may be true too, for medical case studies, however, as they are scientific, they also include solid evidence garnered from physical practice of the hypothesis.
- It is difficult to get an overview or develop a general theory based on specific case studies. This is emphatically not true of medical case studies!