Biostatistics is a field that strives to apply the principals of science and statistics to find possible solutions to major public health issues. Biostatistics is such an important field for the proper and accurate analysis of a wide range of scientific data. Applications of biostatistics can be found in fields pertaining to biology, public health, as well as many other divisions of the health sciences. In both laboratory and clinical research, biostatistics is such an incredible resource to utilize when analyzing results from a diverse set of variables and evaluating evidence. Professionals in the field must determine where variation originates, whether it be chance, error, or a reaction from a treatment. Biostatistics it also useful when determining the difference between correlation and causation when striving to draw conclusions about the outcomes in a sample space.
Researchers rely on professionals in this field to analyze variables and to draw conclusions. This field provides so much opportunity to apply principals of statistics to real-word problems in a diverse set of disciplines. This field plays a huge role in the advancement of both laboratory research and clinical research. Biostatisticians are capable of applying the principals of mathematics to the sciences to “bridge the gap between theory and practice.”
This practice was especially evident in Hans Rosling’s TED talk “The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen.” As a statistician and a medical doctor, Rosling brings statistics to life as he examines common myths of third world countries such as child mortality and distribution of income. He presents his data in such an engaging and visual manner, which enables the audience to realize how much valuable information can be deduced from statistics. Additionally, by presenting the data in such a visual and engaging manner, he proves that statistics can be so interesting and that there is so much to learn in this field.
Biostatisticians typically work for health organizations, companies, colleges and universities, and even government agencies. These professionals strive to improve the human health industry and to make the general population more knowledgeable about issues regarding public health. Biostatistics is such a huge industry that is expected to fill over 2000 new jobs by 2018 as the demand for these statisticians has been greatly increasing. The main fields that contribute the most to the biostatistics industry are academia, governmental, and pharmaceutical industries.
There are several degree options for someone interested in persuing a career in biostatistics. There are programs that enable students to receive a master’s degree in biostatistics as well as a doctoral degree. The master’s degree has some biomedical applications in clinic, industry, and public health. The doctoral degree would prepare a student to teach and do research in the field. The median salary for a biostatistician is approximately $90,000.
While it is human nature to try to deduce our own conclusions from our observations, quantitative data is a more accurate an effective means of deducting conclusions regarding variables. Once a research study is completed and all the data is collected, it is necessary to find a means of summarizing and interpreting the data. This information enables researchers to draw conclusions about treatments, which enables them to make discoveries and find new treatments for patients.
I had finally understood a Biostatistician’s role for the first time over the past summer when completing vision research. While I worked as a research assistant obtained from experimentation was sent out to a biostatistician who analyzed all the data and produced charts full of organized calculations and graphs (i.e confidence intervals and p values). Once all the data was analyzed, the primary researcher began to make connections and figure out the patterns in the data. From this, the primary researcher was able to accurately analyze what her results meant and began to consider why trends were or were not reflected in the data. From this she wrote up the study and included the analyzation of the data obtained from the biostatistician in results and discussion sections.
Although I do not feel like research and biostatistics are fields that I am interested in pursuing, I have a great appreciation for all of the work, time, and detail that goes into these fields. It was very interesting to have a little glimpse of the real world applications of biostatics just a few months before taking this course.
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“The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen.” Hans Rosling:. N.p., n.d. Web. <https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen>.
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“What Does a Career in Biostatistics Actually Look Like? | This Is Statistics.” This Is Statistics. N.p., 06 June 2016. <http://thisisstatistics.org/what-does-a-career-in-biostatistics-actually-look-like/>.