My name is Christine and I am a natural scientist, a geologist by first training and now Chartered, but someone who has worked for most of her career in academia and has also completed a BSc (Hons) in Maths and Stats to assist my own research in natural science. I was asked to write a book on numeracy for midwives for those natural midwives who had difficulty with “numbers”, and it was through this I was introduced to the RCGP. Out of that contact came an awareness of the need to support medical doctors in their use of statistics; a tool used by them on a daily basis.
Many medical practitioners have had to acquire some statistical knowledge to deal with what is expected of them and many courses exist which teach statistics. Path finder has been compiled to support this education and lend a hand to the medical practitioner seeking a path through the “maze” of statistical theory and practice, a maze that shows every sign of growing continuously.
In my endeavours to do this I have been fortunate to benefit from the assistance of medical doctors and statisticians who were prepared to help me with this task, and I am very grateful to them for the help, guidance and encouragement they have given me along the way.
There has been an explosion in the use of statistics, made possible with the advent of computers.