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A yearly theme, of sorts

Instead of setting a Yearly Theme A CGP Gray video is where I first heard it used as a replacement for New Year’s resolutions, but I’m not entirely sure if he’s the originator. right at the outset, I let it crystalize on its own in the first few months of the year. The theme of 2022 was shelter-buildingguess where that came from — and as a result we now have a whistle-clean basement ready to serve as a home gym until a nuclear strike anhilates us all.

Odds are that this year’s theme will end up being statistical shenanigans. First a brief letter to JAMA Internal Medicine we wrote received a confused commentary from a giant of cancer care that showed that even oncology giants are not immune to errors Finding the error I will leave as an excercise for the reader; I do, however, plan to address it in a follow-up letter. Never pass an opportunity to increase your publication count! of statistical reasoning. Soon after that, working on a different — still top-secret — paper got me down a rabbit hole of the many ways we use to present clinical data. I thought these were lacking in oncology; other fields of medicine showed me that there was room for further deterioration. Not to be so secretive about everything, but clinical data representation in this particular field will also be the subject of a commentary. And yet, the US FDA still thinks statistically illeterate doctors — present company included — are important gatekeepers of diagnostic tests, essentially banning home test kits available in other parts of the world because they are worried people are too innumerate to correctly interpret their own results.

Humans being pattern-recognition machines, I don’t doubt I will continue seeing matemathical malpractice, malfeasance, and just plain stupidity everywhere I look. It is pretty much guaranteed I will inadvertently comit some myself! I hope this yearly theme results in a few papers, at least.

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