Contemporary and statistical medicine: an indissoluble bond to move from witchcraft to science by Luca Paolo Weltert, Professor of Medical Statistics at UniCamillus

Medical Statistics is one of the teachings that each university includes in the initial phase of the knowledge considered essential for the contemporary healthcare profession.
It might sound weird to laymen that a mathematical discipline is considered fundamental in the medical field and therefore it is worth spending a few words to explain why today, unlike medieval or Renaissance medicine, it is crucial to acquire statistical knowledge.

Medicine has long moved in the shadow of great teachers, living on dogmas that have not always been verified.
Therefore, medieval Europe doctors treated (or rather did not cure) heart attacks with bloodletting and attributed the stroke to the imbalance of circulating “humors”, with a great preference for the gall.
This obscurantist daze began to dissolve with Galileo and the creation of the scientific method, and even more with Popper and the triumph of epistemology as a science.

Let’s wind the tape quickly to this day: no master can be such on the basis of his word, today every health strategy, every medical or surgical procedure, must be supported by solid scientific evidence. So witchcraft finally (almost) disappeared from hospital wards.

Statistics is the tool to ascertain whether a method of treatment works or is fallacious, to understand if a new chemotherapy will alleviate the suffering of our cancer patients, if a new cardiac prosthesis will free our heart patients from the burden of decompensation.

Then the efforts made to learn what a test is like, how to verify the sensitivity of a laboratory exam, to understand the differences between two survival curves, to learn to neutralize the differences between patient cohorts leaving the treatment method as the only independent variable, become suddenly not school exercises, but concrete elements to make each of us better health workers wherever we find ourselves practising.

Luca Paolo Weltert is Professor of Medical Statistics in the Degree Courses in Physiotherapy and Biomedical Laboratory Techniques and in the first level Online Master in Management for the Coordination Functions of the Health Professions at UniCamillus.

The Master aims to train professional figures for the position of “Healthcare Manager” with supervisory and coordination functions in public and private healthcare facilities.

The lessons are delivered in e-learning mode with the possibility of accessing the platform 24 hours a day and using, at any time, all the teaching material made available by the teaching staff.

For more information about the Master click HERE