We now turn our attention to 1998 study by Plioplys et al.,1 and in particular to one of the many figures in the study: Figure 4. We choose to focus on this figure because the number of individuals involved in the analyses is small enough to make it very easy to see that something is wrong.
MUSINGS - REVELATIONS - REVIEWS
Full disclosure: We consult professionally in the context of personal-injury litigation. One of us (SMD) has served on more than one occasion as an expert witness opposite Dr Audrius Plioplys.
On 19 June 2013, Dr Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), delivered the Keynote Address at the 46th Annual Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER) Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. He began with a quip (paraphrasing): an epidemiologist is someone who loses sleep worrying about denominators. His point was well understood by his audience, including yours truly. Mortality rates, survival probabilities, incidence rates, incidence rate ratios, hazard ratios, odds ratios, and standardized mortality ratios are but a few of the commonly calculated epidemiologic measures that involve dividing one number (the numerator) by another (the denominator). Getting these calculations right can be critical, and when gotten wrong, the consequences can be embarrassing, or worse.
Okay, so it wasn't a Motion Picture Academy Award, but it was still very significant. At the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) last week in Toronto, Michael Kutcher received the Cathleen Lyle Murray Humanitarian Award for his work as a national cerebral palsy advocate with Reaching for the Stars (RFTS), an internationally recognized advocacy and research organization started by, and for, the parents of children with cerebral palsy (CP). Michael himself has mild CP, and while he never let this distract him or prevent him from living his own life to its fullest, he came to understand the value and importance of his working on behalf of others with CP who are not as able to speak or act on their own behalf. Michael is most deserving of his Academy Award.