24 September 2010

Thank God for Biostatisticians!

I work in the medical field. That's a big "Duh!", I know. Part of my job as a physician is to keep up-to-date in my field (neurology). Most of the meaningful neurology articles published in reputable journals come in the form of clinical studies. And those clinical studies, whether prospective randomized placebo-controlled trials or retrospective observational case series studies, include statistics.

I hate statistics. Really, I do. Why, you ask? Well, that's because my stats course in medical school consisted of lectures from a biostats grad student on 8 or 10 successive Friday afternoons. This grad student did not want to be there, and neither did we. It was poorly taught, and (certainly in my case) poorly learned. I swear that I came out of med school with only one statistics "fact" in my head -- p values should be greater than 0.05 (P> .05) for the study results to be significant. Let's just say that this minimalistic view of biostatistics was not really adequate for a practicing physician.

I'm not here to teach or explain statistics (God, no!), but I have learned quite a bit more useful methods of evaluating the adequacy of statistical analyses over the past few years. I greatly appreciate the biostatisticians in my (professional) life (thank you! thank you!).

And so I present this video for your viewing pleasure (found on youtube, of course). If you aren't interested in statistics or scientific analyses, then feel free to move along. But it had me laughing out loud.


Random Michelle K said...

"Please go away."


Nathan said...

I love that "xtra normal" has become the repository of every industry's complaints about bosses, coworkers and other intolerable idiots! There's a million little movies up about movie-biz people and how hard "someone" is making their lives.

John the Scientist said...

Have you had to review a Bayesian design for a trial yet?

Anonymous said...

*sigh* "This video contains content from Comcast Entertainment Group which has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds."