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July 27, 1994

Biostatistics in Clinical Medicine

Author Affiliations

Medical Center of Delaware Newark

JAMA. 1994;272(4):318-319. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520040080048

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This cleverly constructed, inexpensive introduction to statistics is out in a new third edition with two new excellent chapters about the interpretation of epidemiological studies and meta-analysis.

The genre of introductory statistics books with titles like "Introductory Statistics for the [insert name of profession here]" has always seemed suspect to me. Are all physicians (read also engineers, nurses, or social workers) so bereft of imagination that they cannot learn some statistics without the examples being specifically drawn from their everyday work? When I used Snedecor and Cochran's Statistical Methods as an undergraduate, I did not suppose that the carefully cataloged techniques were only good for measuring the results of agricultural experiments.

Biostatistics in Clinical Medicine is in this class of books, but there is an underlying philosophy that justifies its approach. Rather than present statistics with examples designed for use by researchers dealing with groups of patients in the typical

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