Sunday, August 20, 2006

Innumeracy in Medicine


Overheard in the physicians' lounge:

Doc #1: I think I make just above the median for my specialty.

Doc #2: Very few people make more than the median in [my specialty].

Me: (butting in incredulously) But by definition, 50% make more than the median.

Doc#2: Well, yeah, but the median is skewed by a very few people at the top who make an inordinate amount.

Me: No, that's the average.

Doc #2: Oh, yeah. Well, I meant the average.

I'm sure he did, but then he's misinterpreting the data when he reads reports of median income in his specialty, or median anything. Sheeez!

2 Comments:

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not so sure of your assertions, tell my why?

 
At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not so sure of your assertions, tell my why?

 

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