Risk, or The Game of Life?

The ideal physician is not risk-averse but rather is a risk-mitigator. Risk is inescapable. We have to be able to understand risks in real terms and also be able to communicate those risks to patients in ways that matter. The risk-mitigator recognizes that each alternative has some risks but chooses to navigate through the risks…

Continue reading →

How Do I Diagnose Ruptured Membranes? Bayesian Statistics at its Best

The diagnosis of ruptured membranes in pregnancy is clinically very important. Decisions about delivering a pregnancy, hospitalization, and even termination of pregnancies, often depend on being correct about this diagnosis. Understanding how to diagnose ruptured membranes is fundamental to the basic practice of obstetrics; but understanding the clinical reasoning and statistics that underlie diagnosing ruptured…

Continue reading →

Odds Ratios Versus Relative Risk

Many great things have been written about the difference between Odds Ratios (OR) and Relative Risks (RR). Every medical student at some point has been taught the difference. Yet these statistical terms are confused and misused every day in both the writing of and the interpretation of literature (which we’ll talk more about at the end…

Continue reading →