Summary. Medical students and doctors need training in biostatistics. The use of analytic statistics in a leading general medical journal is reported. Of 760 consecutive research and review articles, 42% use statistical methods beyond elementary descriptive statistics. Critical reading of the medical literature requires an understanding of many statistical methods. The frequency of use of such methods may help identify those which should receive greater attention in instructional programmes within the medical curriculum. Based on the frequencies and our understanding of the importance of broad statistical concepts, recommendations are developed for the basic course in biostatistics. The integration of several more advanced statistics modules into clinical training is also suggested. The use is recommended of clinically oriented textbooks in biostatistics and current journal articles to help make instruction in statistics more relevant for preclinical students, and to help clinicians appreciate the applications of statistics to their work. 1985 Blackwell Publishing

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
JournalMedical education
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1985


  • *Education, medical
  • *Periodicals
  • *Research
  • *Statistics
  • Biostatistics
  • Curriculum


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