Statistical Medicine: An emerging new medical specialty
Some of you are aware about my relentless efforts to medicalize the subject of biostatistics as taught in medical schools. Towards this end, I named my flagship book Medical Biostatistics where Medical+Bio exceeds Statistics. Then came Concise Encyclopedia of Biostatistics for Medical Professionals. Both these amply demonstrate how some clinical decisions are made with statistical methods. Prominent among these methods are reference values (2.5th and 97.5th percentiles) that help establish diagnosis in many cases; medical indicators and indexes to measure the severity of the condition; scoring systems that are being increasingly used for diagnosis, for gradation of severity, for assessing prognosis, and for monitoring the progress of the disease; sensitivity-specificity and predictivities to locate the best available test; and ROC curves and Youden index to obtain the best cut-points of medical tests.These are beside evaluation of medical uncertainties by probabilities that convert unpredictable uncertainties to predictable uncertainties, and huge applications in medical research.
In view of such prominent presence of biostatistics in clinical decisions, I have proposed that Statistical Medicine be recognized as a medical specialty. See http://www.jpgmonline.com/text.asp?2017/63/4/252/216438 for details. This may not happen in my life time but would fructify one day. Then, some quantitative oriented medical students may opt to study, practice and propagate this 'sexy' science.