BIOSTATISTICS

Discussion

The growing emphasis on evidence-based treatment has necessitated the learning and understanding of statistical concepts by clinicians.  Today, statistical concepts are taught under the branch of statistics called biostatistics, which is the use of equations to make a generalization or put humans, animals, or plants in order and use the order to answer questions. Medical practitioners use statistical concepts to rate the likelihood that something lives or dies. Knowledge in statistics further helps clinicians to determine the appropriate size of a sample when testing hypotheses that could help obtain results that an individual is confident about. For instance, when the sample size is too small, a researcher is likely to get exaggerated results, and applying such results puts the lives of people or animals at risk.

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In the field of infectious disease genetics, experts use statistical knowledge to calculate population means and deviations, especially when trying to understand trends to the current disease treatments. Typical applications of statistics include when calculating a patient’s blood pressure or when investigating whether the number of white blood cells is out of whack. Experts in the field also apply statistical concepts in determining carcinogens such as cigarettes, finding the source of an outbreak, and when trying to establish the best treatment for an ACL tear.

ReferencesBaldi, B., & Utts, J. (2015). What your future doctor should know about statistics: Must-include topics for introductory undergraduate biostatistics. The American Statistician, 69(3), 231-240.

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