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

Hardcover | November 17, 2013

byHoward Wainer

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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 illustrateshow 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 arcanemathematics. 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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From the Publisher

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 Illumi...

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 tim...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:184 pagesPublished:November 17, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199668795

ISBN - 13:9780199668793

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Table of Contents

IntroductionSection I - Communicating with the Public1. N.Y. State's Cancer map2. Will Burtin and some pictures at an exhibition3. That's funny4. Commentary on some graphs in the 2008 National Healthcare Quality Report5. Improving graphic displays by controlling creativitySection II - Some Advances6. Looking at blood sugar7. A different kind of second opinion on hip fractures8. False positives9. Estimating long-term effects10. A remarkable horseSection III - Another Hindrance to Progress12. What does it take to change practice?13. Why is a raven like a writing desk? Musing on the power of convention

Editorial Reviews

"On the journey from factual knowledge to conceptual understanding, Howard Wainer is an able guide and a most amiable companion." --Joseph Bernstein, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Veterans' Hospital Philadelphia