Medical Illuminations: Using Evidence, Visualization and Statistical Thinking to Improve Healthcare

Overview


Is it sensible to screen for breast or prostate cancer? Should the locations of cancer clusters be made available to the general public? When a doctor wants to perform major surgery and there's no chance for a second opinion, do you agree?

The answers to these questions are not as black and white as they may first appear. Medical Illuminations presents thirteen contemporary medical topics, from the diminishing value of mammograms to how to decide if a hip needs to be replaced, ...

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Medical Illuminations: Using Evidence, Visualization and Statistical Thinking to Improve Healthcare

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Overview


Is it sensible to screen for breast or prostate cancer? Should the locations of cancer clusters be made available to the general public? When a doctor wants to perform major surgery and there's no chance for a second opinion, do you agree?

The answers to these questions are not as black and white as they may first appear. Medical Illuminations presents thirteen contemporary medical topics, from the diminishing value of mammograms to how to decide if a hip needs to be replaced, to understanding cancer maps. In each case it illustrates how modern tools of statistical thinking and statistical graphics can illuminate our understanding.

The goals are to solve some vexing problems that seem perplexing, and to make both the problems and their solutions clear to a non-technical audience. The aim is to ignite in the reader an understanding of statistical thinking, which, though subtle, can be learned without going through arcane mathematics. And, moreover, that learning about how to think in this way provides a huge payoff in the deeper understanding of our complex world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Medical Illuminations offers ample substance along with sufficient piquant comments to ensure that readers reflect on every sentence. ... Wainer's inspirational set of commentaries on medical applications for statistics and visualization delivers meaningful lessons for beginners and experts. I highly recommend it." --Science

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199668793
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/2/2014
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,092,511
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Wainer, Distinguished Research Scientist at the National Board of Medical Examiners

Howard Wainer is a statistician and author; Medical Illuminations is his 20th book. His first two medical books (technical works in pediatrics) were published almost 40 years ago. He has been working primarily on medical topics since 2001 as the Distinguished Research Scientist of the National Board of Medical Examiners. At various times in his career he has taught at Princeton, The University of Chicago and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

He has a PhD from Princeton and is a fellow in the American Statistical Association and the American Educational Research Association. He has been the recipient of many awards for his broad ranging research and has served internationally on many editorial boards of leading statistical journals as well as a consultant to both government and industry. He has also written a column in the magazine Chance since 1990.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Section I - Communicating with the Public
1. N.Y. State's Cancer map
2. Will Burtin and some pictures at an exhibition
3. That's funny
4. Commentary on some graphs in the 2008 National Healthcare Quality Report
5. Improving graphic displays by controlling creativity
Section II - Some Advances
6. Looking at blood sugar
7. A different kind of second opinion on hip fractures
8. False positives
9. Estimating long-term effects
10. A remarkable horse
Section III - Another Hindrance to Progress
12. What does it take to change practice?
13. Why is a raven like a writing desk? Musing on the power of convention

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