Clinical case reporting in the form of case reports and case series reports has always been an integral part of medical literature. From the late 1970s the genre appeared to fall from grace and was marginalized in many medical journals. There was controversy as to its value as a research method. From the late 1990s and onwards, there has been an increased demand for and publication of case reports and case series. The various causes for its decline and subsequent return are discussed with an emphasis on the recent historical context.