Case reports are often seen as a relatively easy way of getting published. Despite this, much wasted time and effort on the part of authors, reviewers and editors might be saved if intending authors followed some simple guidelines before committing themselves to paper. The rejection rate for case reports is extremely high. There are two main reasons for this: inappropriate case selection and inadequate attention to detail in case preparation. This article aims to offer a template to the clinician who is considering writing a case report, in order to make the most efficient use (in terms of published results) of the time available.