stats and human beans 

In a hospital things are done by statistics. 

I like listening to the doctors take the patient history and follow their trained medical logic processes to the likely diagnosis. And people give so much information. So they (the doctors) think logically to arrive at a statistically relevant course of action. They filter through the irrelevant material, finding the things they need. Asking questions if necessary as they go.

My daughter was once admitted to hospital by emergency and the doctor panicked. I stepped in and walked them through the logic process. I was like the guide down the logic pathways. Eventually they came up with two possible things, so they were calmer when they called the pediatrician. Unfortunately, I was less calm having felt like I took control, which of course I did not. But perception is everything. 

If you treat computers by statistics the outliers will just fall by the wayside and the rest will thrive. 

If you treat people by statistics the thrivers will buzz off without thanks, but the outliers will haunt you. Even 99% of cured people won’t help when that 1% takes a turn and unexpectedly dies. 
How many people are saved by vaccines? That does not ameliorate the small percentage antivaxer.

People – human beings – might behave statistically but we cannot tolerate being a statistic as an individual. This is a problem in the medical industry and they don’t seem to know what the problem is. 

So there’s a tension between the need to use probability and the need to treat on an individual basis. 

I think you have to be clear with people on the process. Make their individuality their responsibility to an extent. 

“We are treating you based on the statistical trends of the human body, but you are an individual and we cannot predict how you personally will respond. We need you to give us feedback if this isn’t working or if it’s making you worse”.

No one has said that to me. A problem is that the doctor sees me as a statistic and not a person – another bloody patient in his revolving circus of sick human bodies. He makes a decision (statistically) directs a course of action and I have to suck it up. I am not told what he is doing.

This is definitely worth bearing in mind. Especially when surgery is involved because it might be that the doctor has made his assessment and then you need to make your personal assessment. 

I think both are equally important. 

  

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