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July 26, 1965

"We Wish to Hire a Medical Statistician. Have You Any Advice to Offer?"

JAMA. 1965;193(4):289-293. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090040033009

From time to time I am asked this question by the head of a department in a medical school or other health organization. When the advice requested is more than the naming of a possible candidate, I remember an attempt that I made seven years ago to organize my thinking about the situation of persons who are expected to give help in a miscellany of problems brought to them from any or all departments in a medical school. Such statisticians might be called "all-purpose statisticians" or "statisticians at large," even if they are based in a particular department such as preventive medicine or pharmacology.

I presented the results of my thinking at the Fourth International Biometric Conference held in Ottawa, in 1958, in a paper entitled "Some Non-statistical Problems Met By Medical School Statisticians." I read it again recently and asked myself: "Have some or all of these problems disappeared

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