Monthly Archives: January 2019

Recommended: Bending the rules of clinical trials

Many clinical trials have restrictive entry criteria to insure homogeneity of the subject pool which increases power and allows the study to proceed with a not too outrageous sample size. But what if you (or one of your patients) would really benefit from being part of the trial, but does not meet the entry criteria? This study discusses the ethical problems that ensue when a doctor is faced with such a choice. Continue reading

PMean: Think positively, what has research done for us

Several years ago, I was part of panel presentation at the Joint Statistical Meetings. My talk was on how to teach Statistics from an evidence-based perspective. A question came up from the audience about the quality of medical research, and there’s a lot of cynicism in the Statistics community about this. Each comment from the audience seemed to get more negative and I stepped in to offer a counter argument. The research process has a lot of flaws, but we have made a ton of progress in how we provide medical care thanks to the careful and rigorously designed studies that have been done. I didn’t convince anyone, but it felt good to stand up for something I strongly believe in. Recently, I had to look for examples of research that has changed clinical practice for the better, and found several interesting articles. Continue reading