Biological Statistics

When my son went to graduate school in biological statistics, I did not even know there was such a field, or what kind of work he could do. After getting hired by Arbor Research, he first joined a project which involved analysis of dialysis. What makes it work? For example, a fistula is better than a graft. Although this seems to be accepted now, when they first did their analysis, some doctors still believed that a graft was better. Statistics expands the experience of one doctor to the experience of many.

I now wish every medical procedure were analyzed. We have tools now that mean we do not have to rely on doctors who only go by their subjective judgment from their own practice. I don’t want to take the doctor’s experience out of medical care, but if my doctor recommends a treatment, I want to know if patients who receive that treatment do better than patients who go for an alternative treatment or even receive no treatment at all.

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