[R] Is R good for not-professional-statistician, un-mathematical clinical researchers?

A.J. Rossini rossini at blindglobe.net
Thu Aug 19 11:04:13 CEST 2004

One thought -- the first course I took, I taught physicians
XLispStat.  They appreciated it since it allowed them to do logistic
regression without spending large $$$.....

Now, that isn't quite true any more.  So might depend on how times
have changed.

Jacob Wegelin <jawegelin at ucdavis.edu> writes:

> Alternate title: How can I persuade my students that R is for them?
> Alternate title: Can R replace SAS, SPSS or Stata for clinicians?
> I am teaching introductory statistics to twelve physicians and two veterinarians
> who have enrolled in a Mentored Clinical Research Training Program.  My course is the
> first in a sequence of three.  We (the instructors of this sequence) chose to teach
> R rather than some other computing environment.
> My (highly motivated) students have never encountered anything like R.  One frankly
> asked:
> "Do you feel (honestly) that a group of physicians (with two vets) clinicians will
> be able to effectively use and actually understand R? If so, I will happily call this
> bookstore and order this book [Venables and Ripley] tomorrow."
> I am heavily biased toward R/S because I have used it since the first applied statistics
> course I took.  But I would love to give these students some kind of objective information
> about the usability of R by non-statisticians--not just my own bias.
> Could anyone suggest any such information?  Or does anyone on this list use R who is
> a clinician and not really mathematically savvy?  For instance, someone who doesn't
> remember any math beyond algebra and doesn't think in terms of P(A|B)?
> Or have we done a disservice to our students by choosing to make them
> learn R, rather than making ourselves learn SAS, Stata or SPSS?
> Thank you for any ideas
> Jake Wegelin
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Anthony Rossini			    Research Associate Professor
rossini at u.washington.edu            http://www.analytics.washington.edu/ 
Biomedical and Health Informatics   University of Washington
Biostatistics, SCHARP/HVTN          Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
UW (Tu/Th/F): 206-616-7630 FAX=206-543-3461 | Voicemail is unreliable
FHCRC  (M/W): 206-667-7025 FAX=206-667-4812 | use Email

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