Statistics and Stress in Medicos

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There is a lot of anxiety among medical practitioners, both senior and junior concerning certain topics like statistics and epidemiology. The anxiety in some situations becomes quite acute causing stress to themselves as well as their students. Good research draws on statistics to prove certain findings and to establish associations. However statistics is definitely not everything in research. Identifying a topic of research, writing up the objectives, planning the right design, coming up with a water tight methodology, estimating an adequate sample; all these are equally important. Even as judging of studies in conferences goes, most experts are carried away by some fancy statistical methods used rather than other criteria. Unfortunately our current medical society is captivated by statistics in a love hate relationship, with a significant overlay of fear of the subject. This fear is being passed on to the new generation. Let us face the facts. Statistics is a subject associated with mathematics. Most degree courses in universities combine statistics with math. Biostatistics is one field where we have borrowed some principles of statistics to assist in our medical research for the common good of the society. Just like there are surgically inclined and non surgical people in our medical fraternity, there are those who are statistically inclined and those who are not. Some of our medical people have taken to statistics well and kudos to them. We depend on them to unravel a few of the mysteries of this predominantly mathematical subject to us; just enough maybe to help us do our research well and come up with scientific inferences. We can continue to draw more and more complicated statistical precepts into our medical field. But at what cost? After a post graduate subject like General Medicine, many doctors feel the need to specialize in a particular sub specialty like nephrology, cardio, gastro etc. In the current age, due to rapid advancements in technology...
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